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 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.
Model D thought I was cool enough to be one of the local bloggers you should be reading.
I wrote about black male mentorship in the city for MetroParent and BLAC.
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 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.