This Week on One Detroit:

Metro Detroit Asian American community holds local vigil for Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay victims

In the days after two back-to-back mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, that killed a combined 18 Chinese, Asian American and Hispanic people and critically injured one other, several members of Michigan’s Asian American community gathered in Madison Heights, Michigan to hold a local vigil for the victims and those in the community affected by the tragedy.  

State Senator Stephanie Chang joined the vigil to speak about the need for gun reform legislation, while American Citizens for Justice Co-Founder Roland Hwang spoke about the need to “address the lack of mental health services that is so exposed by this carnage.” APIA Vote Michigan Executive Director Rebeka Islam and Rising Voices Co-Executive Director Jasmine Rivera were also in attendance with hopes that the local vigil would provide a safe space for the community and a pathway for healing.  

Tyre Nichols’ death: A roundtable about racism, police reform and racial trauma

The recent death of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Black man killed by five Black Memphis Police officers, has sparked another wave of nationwide protests and demonstrations against police brutality in cities across the U.S., including the majority-Black city of Detroit.  

Nichols was pulled over by Memphis Police officers Jan. 7 for reckless driving, the police released in a statement. During two confrontations between Nichols and the five officers involved, Nichols was brutally beaten, tased and pepper sprayed by the officers for three minutes. On Jan. 10, Nichols was pronounced dead from his injuries.  

In the weeks since his death, police have released the body camera footage from the night Nichols was pulled over, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has fired all five officers involved, who are now facing charges of murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression, and the U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation. Two additional officers have been relieved of duty and three Memphis Fire Department personnel have been fired. 

Reacting to Nichols’ tragic death, One Detroit contributor Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” hosts a roundtable with Black Lives Matter Detroit Co-Founder John Sloan III, Detroit Police Department 2nd Deputy Chief Kyra Joy Hope and licensed clinical psychologist Isha Metzger.  

They talk about the race of the police officers and how that’s factoring into the national conversation, how the Detroit Police Department is responding to questions about police reform and accountability, and about the importance of checking in on your mental health during these situations.  

ASALH shares the founding of Black History Month, discusses its importance today

What is the history behind Black History Month? One Detroit contributor Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” sat down with Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney, the president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), for a captivating conversation about ASALH’s founding of Black History month and its importance in today’s racial landscape.  Henderson and Dr. Dulaney discuss the original vision of the organization’s founder, historian and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson.  

Sculptor Austen Brantley discusses solo exhibit ‘Musé,’ being tapped for Michigan Black history projects

Growing up, Detroit-based sculptor Austen Brantley wanted to play football more than anything else. That was until one day when he found his voice in ceramics class and in creating sculptures out of clay. Now, he’s creating solo exhibitions of his work, like his latest exhibit “Musé” at the Carr Center Gallery in Midtown through Feb. 25, 2023.  

The exhibit features clay sculptures, paintings and drawings of women with influences from African American culture and the African diaspora. Brantley will be at his Carr Center Gallery exhibit for an in-person artist talk on Feb. 24.  

One Detroit contributor Cecelia Sharpe, of WRCJ 90.9 FM, caught up with Brantley at his studio space in the Russell Industrial Center to talk about “Musé,” two upcoming works dedicated to Michigan’s African American history he’s working on, and how he communicates through his artwork.  

Brantley talks about the inspiration and influence he finds from strong Black women and African artwork, as well as two major sculptures he’s creating of Henry and Elizabeth Hamer, the first African Americans to buy land in Royal Oak in 1857, and the former Detroit Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, which will be displayed in Rouge Park once completed.  

One Detroit Weekend: February 3, 2023

Are you looking for some arts, culture, music and family-friendly fun to experience in Southeast Michigan this weekend? One Detroit contributors Peter Whorf and Cecelia Sharpe, of WRCJ 90.9 FM, take a look at what Detroit and other metro cities have on tap for the Feb. 3 weekend and into next week with One Detroit’s newest segment, “One Detroit Weekend.”  

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