Friday, May 04, 2007

Most Young Adults Want To Leave Detroit by Akindele Akinyemi


I called in Your Voice with Angelo Henderson last night on WCHB 1200AM. His show is much more focused than other talk shows I have heard in recent times.

The discussion was on would you stay in Detroit or Michigan if you knew the economy was going to be like this. I called in and said no. I also said I was desperate to leave this liberal plantation.

My personal reason for leaving? It is ridiculous for anyone to work on their doctorate degree and cannot teach in the field or work they are proficient in because that person is not certified. I am not against certification. But other areas like Florida and North Carolina offers alternative teacher certification unlike Michigan who is controlled by the unions.

My other problem with living in Detroit is the growing number of functionally illiterate people walking the streets. Detroit is getting dumber and dumber and thanks to intergenerational illiteracy in our homes we are falling through the cracks.

A huge problem is the fact that we have college graduates who graduate and cannot find a job in Michigan but can find a job elsewhere in the country. Angelo's co-host (Sis. Stacie) said that instead of young people leaving Detroit to go work they could stay here and help build up Detroit. The problem of that statement is this. How can we work in our field of study if we have so many road blocks? Most jobs in Michigan require you to have 7-10 years experience in the field you are trying to work in. If you are never given the opportunity to gain experience then what is the point?

And then you had the people who said they wanted to stay here because of their families. In other words, I cannot go and see the world because my mama and daddy live here. These are my roots. My hood. My people.

Whatever. It is not that deep.

We have to get out of our comfort zone. If you mama and daddy live here then they are not going anywhere. Should you place your career on hold for them? Should you place your freedom on hold for them or your family? This is an excuse that Black people make up all the time here in Detroit.

There is nothing here in this city of this state. No jobs, higher taxes, and foreclosures that are astronomical. While I like Michigan it no longer feels possible to work, live, and feel that there will be enough economic opportunity to earn enough to eventually retire.

Detroit's problem is that it remains a one industry town. All of its eggs are in a single basket. A basket that was really good for a long time, but that has since fallen apart. And the political scene here is horrible. Totally lopsided.

The solution to Detroit woes is not just its citizens but I strongly feel that regionalization should take place. We need to bring Detroit and Wayne County together under a consolidated government. We can improving the education system by giving parents educational choices for their children to go to school. I strongly feel that we should reorganize the Detroit Public Schools under a regional authority as well as promoting a major campaign on the importance of fighting for lower taxes in our community. Other than that why stay?

Did anyone look at the May's edition of Black Enterprise magazine top 10 cities? Detroit is nowhere to be found? Where can you really raise a family in this city? Not yourself by living off Jefferson and Lafayette near Downtown Detroit but ACTUALLY live and raise a family in peace?

There are so many people that want out but the conditions are so deplorable that it makes it virtually impossible to leave. Young people with degrees have never felt like this before where you feel trapped on a large plantation with uneducated people who are telling you "it's gonna be another day" like Fiddler in Roots. The players keep telling us things are improving.

Really? Now my question is are things improving for THEM or for our COMMUNITY? When I drive down areas in Detroit it looks like a prairie or something.

After growing up in Detroit, when I see other cities like Chicago and Nashville it's total culture shock. Growing up poor makes one accustomed to certain things that someone better off would find intolerable or unacceptable.

Similarly, growing up a in a city with such a poverty of spirit obscured how many horrible things I'd just gotten used to when I lived there (like the hot, unreliable, filthy city buses). When I first encountered, in Nashville, well maintained, clean, air conditioned city buses that ran on something approximating a schedule, I was floored. It just never occurred to me that city services could be anything other than minimal.

Detroit is a broken city due to poor management by incompetent elected officials (i.e. Detroit City Council..I don't know what is more humorous on TV... City Council or Benny Hinn) and a populace that seems determined to elect a mayor to spite the rest of the state instead of one that will govern effectively. That is not to say that there were not some deliberate efforts to hurt the city economically by its suburbs and Gov. Granholm, but a lot of blame can be placed at the feet of a string of ineffective mayors.

For those young adults who want to leave Detroit because there is no hope and opportunity for them? I say leave the plantation while you still can. There is nothing for you in Detroit. And do not look back our you will be turned into a pillar of salt.

2 comments:

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

05 06 07

Hello Akindele:
Sorry to hear that things are so bleak in the employment front out there. So does this mean you will soon leave Detroit? If so, what will happen to ONEDETROITNETWORK?

What are you getting your PhD in? What do you like to teach? After tutoring for a while, I can honestly say that I have no intention of teaching in a traditional classroom. In fact I think that traditional classrooms are evil! One on one is the best way to go!Yeah, it really is sad when educrat unions control teaching jobs, especially when there are many GREAT teachers who aren't certified.

For my NCLB program, we all have to show the students improved by comparing their pretest to their posttest scores. My average is 20% overall improvement. I don't have a teaching credential; just a knowledge of physics and mathematics that allows me to teach the kids at whatever level.

My parents and I have had static over my profession because my Dad doesn't feel that NCLB benefits children and also that I don't have a credential so am not fully qualified. However, the kids would disagree and their test scores contraindicate his logic.

Sometimes I feel like we were better off under segregation in terms of education. The only way we will make gains as a people is to go back to valueing education.

Good post.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...
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