I approached the scene of a scarred, burned-up wall on the site of the former Motor City Mattress Company in Inkster, Michigan knowing only that its textures were inviting me in. Inkster is a predominantly black suburb west of Detroit that has fallen on hard times. Like its bigger neighbor, it has suffered from its share of vacant properties and urban blight. The Motor City Mattress Company, on the city’s central Michigan Avenue, was a recent sign of this decay, closing in 2011. Apparently, it was in the midst of liquidating what it had left when it was hit by a fire in January, 2012. Continue reading

Ole & Nu Style Fellas Social Aid & Pleasure Club 2013 Second Line Parade

A few images from a wild second line parade I attended in April, 2013 in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans.

Second line parades are one of the most visible, colorful parts of the real New Orleans experience. For the black communities they bring together, they are first and foremost a celebration of an old clamorous African spirit that imbues the city and its history. They are also living reminders of the resilience and persistence of African-descended culture, which carries even more weight after the trials and tribulations of the post-Katrina mayhem. Continue reading