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In Pursuit of Hope
$25,000 • Detroit
The project used videography and photography to collect oral histories from residents of the HOPE Village, a predominately African American Detroit neighborhood, and formed those oral histories into an exhibit which traveled to local suburban and urban venues, coupled with opportunities for dialogue sessions across racial boundaries about the exhibit. Neighborhood youth involved in Focus: HOPE’s photography and leadership program photographed significant landmarks and buildings in and around the HOPE Village. Through neighborhood town halls and community groups, residents interested in talking about their experience and recollections about the neighborhood were identified. Neighbors interviewed these residents, using a “photo voice” approach, asking residents to reflect on the photos, and describe both their recollections of and the deeper meaning and lessons drawn from the places and people depicted in the photos. A focal point for the interviews was the 1967 Detroit Rebellion, which started just blocks from the neighborhood, and played a formative role in the recent history of the neighborhood. Residents considered how race has shaped the neighborhood, and what we have learned from the past history of racism and inequity which will help us in the future.