This Week on One Detroit:

Global Detroit shares the importance of immigrant inclusion in Michigan’s population revitalization

The state’s population stagnation and economic prosperity have been front and center for several businesses, organizations and educational institutions. Global Detroit, a regional economic development and community development organization, has been exploring the state’s population issues and the importance of immigrant inclusion in the region’s revitalization. 

Global Detroit Managing Director Dr. Alaina Jackson talks with “American Black Journal” host and “One Detroit” contributor Stephen Henderson about Global Detroit’s mission to develop and implement inclusive strategies to drive the growth, revitalization and shared prosperity of Detroit and the region by focusing on immigrants and global talent. They discuss the importance of immigrants in growing Michigan’s economy and population, and Dr. Jackson points to contributions of immigrants to the region.  

In addition, the two talk about Dr. Jackson’s participation in the Jobs, Talent & People Work Group that conducted research and made recommendations to Governor Whitmer’s Growing Michigan Together Council about how to solve the state’s workforce shortage, retain and attract talent, and increase quality of life in the state. 

‘Too Hot To Handel’ returns to Detroit Opera for 20th anniversary performance

The 20th anniversary of “Too Hot To Handel” takes place at the Detroit Opera House Jan. 13. The performance features a trio of notable Detroit jazz musicians, including pianist Alvin Waddles, bassist Marion Hayden, and drummer Dave Taylor. Audience members will also hear Detroit’s oldest choir, The Rackham Choir under the direction of conductor Suzanne Acton, with solos from renowned soloists Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, and Karen Marie Richardson. 

A makeover of Handel’s classic “Messiah, the production combines jazz, gospel, blues and R&B music into a blend of melodies and lyricism. The inaugural performance of “Too Hot To Handel” was presented by the Rackham Choir in 2000. The production became an annual staple at Detroit Opera for nearly two decades until performances were halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the production makes its way back to the Detroit Opera House stage for the first time since 2019.  

One Detroit contributor Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ stopped by the Rackham Choir’s rehearsal and spoke with Maestra Suzanne Acton to learn how Detroit’s “Too Hot To Handel” started 20 years ago at the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church and how it quickly expanded to the Detroit Opera with the support of the late David DiChiera. Sharpe also talks with Alvin Waddles about what gives the Detroit performance its unique flavor, and with tenor Rodrick Dixon about the melding of classical, jazz, and gospel music all into one performance.  

One Detroit Weekend: January 12, 2024

As you head into the weekend, here’s what’s coming up in and around metro Detroit. Head over to Detroit Opera for its 20th anniversary performance of “Too Hot To Handel.” Get your comedy fix with the Ms. Pat Ya Girl Done Made It show at Detroit’s Music Hall Center for Performing Arts.  

Plus, take a visit to Grand Rapids for the nation’s largest winter festival, the World of Winter Festival. See what’s coming up around town on “One Detroit Weekend” with Dave Wagner of 90.9 WRCJ. 

List of Upcoming Events:  

  • Experience classical music around town with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Bach & Beyond performances, taking place through Jan. 14 in Southfield, Monroe, Beverly Hills, and at Orchestra Hall.  
  • Laugh the night away Jan. 12 at Detroit’s Music Hall Center for Performing Arts with the Ms. Pat Ya Girl Done Made It comedy show featuring comedian, author, radio host, podcaster and actress Patricia Williams.  
  • Join Detroit’s Little Bang Theory avant-garde music group as they perform a new score alongside Victor Sjostrom’s silent film “The Wind” during the Detroit Institute of Arts Friday Night Live! series at the Detroit Film Theatre on Jan. 12. 
  • Take a trip to downtown Grand Rapids for the nation’s largest winter festival, the World of Winter Festival. The winter festival will feature more than 100 free events through March 10. 
  • Listen to a jazz-gospel rendition of Handel’s classic Messiah with the 20th anniversary of “Too Hot To Handel” at the Detroit Opera House on Jan. 13. The performance features notable Detroit jazz artists, vocal soloists and The Rackham Choir. 
  • Immerse yourself in multimedia artist Lillian Schwartz’s “Whirlwind of Creativity” exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation through March 2024. The exhibit features over 100 artifacts from Scwartz’s career as an artist.  
  • Head over to Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak to get your comedy fix this weekend. On Jan. 13, DeAnne Smith will take the stage with support from comedians Richard Mathis and Trevor Tress.  
  • Learn about the life and contributions of Galileo Galilei with hands-on, interactive experiments and exhibits at the Cranbrook Institute of Science’s “Galileo” exhibit, running through June 2, 2024.

From Detroit’s Walk to Freedom to the March on Washington: 60 years of civil rights legacy

Reflections on the powerful connection between Detroit and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. come to the forefront as local leaders, historians, and community members get set to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the indelible impact the 1963 Detroit Walk to Freedom and March on Washington had on the civil rights movement.  

Through peaceful protests and Dr. King’s eloquent call for racial harmony, the Detroit Walk to Freedom and the March on Washington two months later galvanized a generation, spurring legislative reforms that would resonate for years to come. Both events spotlighted the collective will of countless individuals who demanded an end to racial injustice and inequality.  

The presence of influential figures in Detroit such as the Reverend C.L. Franklin and Rev. Albert Cleage, Jr. and the support of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union under Walter Reuther’s leadership, helped solidify the momentum needed for the civil rights movement. 

At a commemorative march for the 60th anniversary of the Detroit Walk to Freedom, hundreds of Detroiters honored their legacy by walking down Woodward Avenue — a living testament to the courage and resilience displayed during those transformative years six decades ago. In 1963, Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Walk to Freedom and then at the March on Washington. One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota explains the tie between these two historic events and how they changed civil rights in America.  

Stay Connected: 

Subscribe to One Detroit’s YouTube Channel & Don’t miss One Detroit Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.

Catch the daily conversations on our website, Facebook, Twitter @DPTVOneDetroit, and Instagram @One.Detroit

View Past Episodes >

Watch One Detroit every Monday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.