Detroit, Michigan.

After 3 weeks of riding solo with Sheri, Ragen hopped in the van and motored with us thru the Rust Belt bringing her impeccable + fresh eyes + a few rays of sunshine.

These are her words about Detroit.

“I selfishly exist in this country like a tin can telephone; the west coast being on one end of the acoustic chamber and the east coast being the other. The string… that taught supportive line that dangles like the electrocardiogram tracing of my existence to the opposite end, is the rest of the country. In my impervious bubble I laugh freely. I scoff freely. I complain of the outs, honors and disbeliefs in this bubble, freely. I call to the other side and have my fairytales improvised and solidified. I make no mention of the string. I forget about the string. I forget that the heart beat… the pulse of the connection between me and the other end. 
I fell helplessly in love with Detroit before I ever met its grace. It was a romance that bore itself from three simple words, “I’m from Detroit”. An affair that started from decades of digesting The Miracles, The Temptations, Mary Wells, Stevie Wonder, J Dilla, Slum Village, Black Milk, Jack White and a barrage of other artist that remained in my mental scope. A deep attraction with a spirited authenticity that emitted from every being hailing from Detroit. A fondness that grew every moment my old roommate would emerge with a jug that roared, Detroit Hustles Harder. You see, I had eyes for Detroit before my tiny feet touched its robust soil. There’s an assiduousness that is deeply embedded in the fabric of the people of Detroit. It was the people of Detroit. It is the people of Detroit. Goddamn! How could I not be compelled to love it. I found that in Nisa. I found that in Megan. I found that in Jim. Welcome 2 Detroit.”

Nisa Seal, 24

“Detroit has a realness that no amount of gentrification can take away. As a biracial woman, I spent years trying to fit in, damaging my hair with chemical straighteners and obsessing over my appearance. In the two years since I moved to Detroit, I’ve become comfortable enough to wear my hair natural in public for the first time. Then I shaved my head, cut back on makeup, and came out as gay. I really don’t think I would’ve done any of that if I hadn’t moved here.”