This Week on One Detroit:

Detroit residents asked to weigh in on new election district maps proposed by redistricting commission

Detroit residents are being asked to share their input on new election district maps being proposed by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The commission is holding public hearings Feb. 21 at Greater Grace Temple and Feb. 22 at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit to allow residents to weigh in on the redrawing of boundaries for seven Michigan House districts — Districts 1, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 14. 

The Redistricting Commission has been tasked with redrawing the maps after a federal court ruling deemed the previous maps were unconstitutional and found the commission violated Black voters’ rights by relying on inaccurate racial data to draw legislative districts. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson asked the U.S. Supreme Court to pause the redrawing of the maps ahead of the 2024 election, but the request was rejected by the court. 

At the commission’s Feb. 1 meeting, commissioners narrowed down the choices from 14 to nine versions of a proposed district map and an independent map has been submitted for public review. The commission must agree on a final map to submit by March 1, and the court is expected to review the new districts by March 29. 

One Detroit contributors Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” and Nolan Finley, editorial page editor for the Detroit News, discuss the redistricting process.  

Zekelman Holocaust Center re-opens newly renovated exhibit now focused on local survivor stories

The Zekelman Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills has opened its newly renovated core exhibit, which now puts Holocaust survivors’ and victims’ stories at the forefront. The exhibition uses new technology and updated historical information to recount their memories and honor their legacy. It re-opened on Jan. 28 to a crowd filled with community members and local survivors, who took the stage for the ribbon cutting ceremony with Holocaust Center CEO Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld. 

As a guest enters around the Holocaust sign just past a real box car used during the transportation of people to concentration camps, they’re taken into the lives of Jewish people before the Holocaust. Torahs, shoes, toys, artifacts and quotes from local survivors tell the stories of Jewish people living through the Holocaust. About 400 survivors are living in Michigan currently. 

“One of the things that we’ve included in that last exhibit is that these kinds of terrible things happen because of our context,” says Mayerfeld. “It takes at first a society that is just so extended, broken, and then people find ways to try to take advantage of that. And so, we want people to recognize that and figure out how do you improve a society.” 

One Detroit’s Sarah Zientarski attended the opening ceremony to learn about the changes to the museum and hear from local survivors who were there. She talks with Zekelman Holocaust Center Director of Education Ruth Bergman and Director of Cultural Affairs Mark Mulder, and hears a speech from Holocaust survivor Irene Miller. 

Techno’s African American roots: Pioneering producer Carl Craig on carving a lane for Black electronic music 

Many electronic music aficionados likely know the origin of techno music in Detroit. It’s a conversation that includes pioneering African American producer Carl Craig, a leading figure in the second wave of Detroit techno. The Detroit-born producer has found acclaim as a techno artist, Grammy-nominated producer, label manager and music festival creator.  

Craig’s music career started in 1989 under a number of aliases — 69, BFC, Psyche, Innerzone Orchestra, No Boundaries and several others. In 1991, Craig opened his own music label, Planet E Communications, followed by the release of his first studio album in 1995.  

In 2000 and 2001, Craig served as the co-creator and artistic director of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. He received a Grammy nomination in 2008 for his mix of Junior Boys’ “Like a Child.” For Black History Month, contributor Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” sat down with Craig for a conversation about techno’s Black roots in Detroit.  

Craig shares memories of growing up in Detroit and how his role models – techno artists Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May – created a music genre that now dominates the electronic music scene around the world. He also talks about the importance and influence of the Black music experience locally and globally.

One Detroit Weekend: February 16, 2024

It’s Black History Month and Detroit has several events to honor and celebrate Black culture around the city. There’s the 8th annual African American Family Book Expo, Michigan’s largest book fair showcasing Black independent authors. You can also celebrate Black History Month at two new exhibits at The Carr Center and the Henry Ford Museum. Plus, join a Black History Month observance for Detroit’s Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods. See what else is coming up on “One Detroit Weekend” with Peter Whorf and Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ.

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