All the things I’ve done since I last updated my blog


I took a job at an ad agency since I last really updated this blog, which is a great gig but I can’t talk about since we have a lot of secret info about our clients. But from that time until now, I’ve neglected this place (again). Someone asked on Reddit recently if all I talk about is race. I do talk about it a lot, but I replied that it’s not the only thing I write about. Then I realized…it’s been a minute since I’ve done a roundup of all my writing and reporting.

When I last updated, I was hustling for any freelance job I could get. Now I’m a little more relaxed with a full-time gig and all, but I still like to keep my reporting sharp with occasional assignments. And I branched out a lot — from literary writing to pop culture to a few national bylines. I got an honor from SPJ’s Detroit chapter, which I’m proud of. I might be in a documentary? And I gave permission to a German textbook to republish one of my essays.

So without further adieu, here’s everything from June 2014-ish, to now.

I jumped head first into advertising and named two of Ford’s newest models – sort of.

I racked up a bunch of bylines for Reuters covering the Ted Wafer trial, the Joe Weekley trial and a few other subjects.

I still continued writing for Jalopnik, touching on things like the annual Sketchbattle, Cadillac leaving the city, classic mopeds, advice for entrepreneurs, calling out the water and police department’s not-so-great social media skills, the “Detroit” episode of The Simpsons, the Dream Cruise, squatting hippies, a mysterious disappearance of an annual enthusiasts’ event, life after municipal bankruptcy, a car that drives on water, “Transformers,” calling out the New York Times (and getting them to respond!), interviewed victims of GM’s faulty ignitions, calling out Gawker Media on their continued shit, riding in a McLaren and trying to find the RoboCop statue.

I contributed to Bridge’s “Brunch with Bridge” until the section folded earlier this year. I wrote about a whitewashed Pure Michigan ad (which was taken down after the column ran), respecting “old” Detroit, my family’s history in Detroit, the overuse of the term “blank canvas,” fought with a boomer, and the stupid fireworks law.

I talked to Eater Detroit about my favorite restaurants in and around the city.

I guested on the Midtown to Metro podcast a bunch of times talking about land use, new/old Detroit, and life after bankruptcy. We also drank great beer every time.

I wrote a few things for Metro Times about the (pending?) sale of Cooley High School and went back and forth with Nolan Finley about black people in downtown.

I wrote about the experiences of Corktown business owners and the legendary Capers restaurant (which touched on plans for revitalizing City Airport) for Crain’s.

I talked to Michigan Radio a few times, including pieces on life in Detroit after bankruptcy, Republicans in Detroit, and fun business ideas.

I talked to the Michigan Daily twice about progress in Detroit. And I didn’t even go to Michigan!

I was an NABJ panelist and gave advice about journalism on the wild, wild Internet.

I wrote an essay for Transmission, a literary journal published by the NYC-based Satellite Collective, about my teenage years in the city.

I wrote another essay about coming to terms with your race in the “new” Detroit for The Periphery here in Detroit.

I landed my first byline in The Atlantic talking about black characters on daytime soap operas, earning me a number of Angie & Jesse fans following me on Twitter.

I wrote about Chaldeans fleeing the Middle East and landing in Metro Detroit, the largest concentration of Arabs outside the continent, for Foreign Policy.

I co-hosted a Twitter chat, #YourDetroit, about what changes we’d like to see here. And gave a few extra thoughts to HuffPo.

I contributed more to The Architect’s Newspaper, talking about a local co-working space and an architectural display in Ann Arbor.

Model D thought I was cool enough to be one of the local bloggers you should be reading.

I read “We Love Detroit, Even If You Don’t,” aloud for the first time in front of MSU students and other readers of “A Detroit Anthology,” and spoke on a panel about the book at Signal-Return.

I wrote about black male mentorship in the city for MetroParent and BLAC.

I wrote a few other things for BLAC, including black residents in Macomb County and a cover story about getting to know the 313.

I wrote about Asian businesses, and Jewish and black residents working together for New Michigan Media.

I was on Al-Jazeera America and Al-Jazeera and was sufficiently awkward, so it’s a good thing I can’t find those video clips.

I wrote about a number of things for Forbes, including a major ad agency coming downtown, the Shinola backlash, going inside Deadline Detroit and TrueCar.

I gave lots of press to the things Red Bull is doing in Detroit to the Detroit Free Press.

I wrote about the end(?) of the Freep’s high school apprenticeship program for Columbia Journalism Review.

I hosted a Q&A with Motor City Muckraker for the Detroit Press Club and later joined the Press Club’s board.

And, of course, I started writing a book for Belt Publishing, which published the “Anthology.” I’m also writing a regular column for Belt as we approach the publication date. So far I’ve talked about Northland Mall and the definition of a Detroit hipster.

Phew! I think that just about covers it. As always, more to come.


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