A captivating new short film, “Detroit We Dey,” directed by Detroit filmmaker Ozi Uduma is set to make its digital premiere June 1 as part of PBS’s highly anticipated “Homegrown: Future Visions” film shorts series. The film’s title roughly translates to “Detroit we’re here,” Uduma said. 

As part of an eight-film anthology presented by Firelight Media and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) to illuminate the Midwest experience, the documentary takes a compelling look at the history and future of a social club, called the Old Bende Association, founded by a community of Igbo-Nigerians who immigrated to Detroit in the 1970s and ‘80s. 

Through reflective storytelling and vintage VHS tape footage, “Detroit We Dey” delves into the unique stories, experiences and cultural contributions of Detroit’s Nigerian community, but it also highlights the community’s resilience in immigrating to a new country and holding onto its cultural heritage.  

Ahead of the film’s digital PBS release, One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota sat down with Uduma to talk about her film and the history it chronicles. Plus, they talk about how the Nigerian diaspora has come to intersect with Detroit’s larger predominately Black community, how the rise of the internet and social media have helped open Detroit and the world up to Nigerian food, music and culture, the next generation of Nigerian Americans in the city and the importance of documenting the community’s history. 

“Homegrown: Future Visions” is a co-production of Firelight Media and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) with funding provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in association with PBS. 

Watch “Detroit We Dey” on demand now:

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