I love to eat, so I enjoy watching cooking shows. A couple of days ago, I watched a season of Anthony Bourdain: Part’s Unknown.” It’s currently streaming on Netflix. The show follows Chef Bourdain around the world, eating local dishes. While I tend to find Bourdain to be a bit obnoxious, I do like the fact that he is open-minded about trying different foods and not afraid to discuss the complexities of the cities he visits. After watching a couple of interesting episodes on South Africa and Tokoyo, I was surprised to see an episode on Detroit:

“Bourdain steps into the lives of Detroit natives and sees the glory days of the past at the famed Packard Plant, the current state of the city’s urban decay, and the promise of the future in the citizens who are rebuilding their communities.”

Bourdain grubbed on local barbecue and gourmet dishes. At one restaurant, his host was drinking an alcoholic beverage.  Bourdain asked what should they order to eat, the host pointed to the drink and said “this is my meal.” Bourdain looked shocked and hesitantly agreed to do the same. Ha, ha! That drink must be delicious.

The episode also looked at the neglect of too many neighborhoods in Detroit. As most folks know, Detroit has been hit with very hard times.  The city declared bankruptcy last summer. Many of the residents (83% black) are under/unemployed (18%). Of course (after doing some research), folks were a bit upset that the show focused so much on the devastation of the city.  I can understand folks not only wanting to be seen as the “broke” city. However, I think it’s important that the reality of what’s happening in Detroit is talked about. There are many people suffering/struggling. Folks outside of the city/state need to be aware of their plight. The abandonment of this city, reminds me of the abandonment of Hurricane Katrina victims. And we all know why that happened…

Funny enough, one of my favorite websites Our Legaci, posted a MTV’s True Life episode about this issue. The show followed three black teens trying to make a difference in their Detroit neighborhoods. Their activism/passion is why we can’t forget about the people of Detroit. I really felt for Alyssia and I hope she was able to also get some counseling to deal with her PTSD.  The episode is a year old. I hope there is a follow-up story on these brave young women.


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