Detroit Quotes

Quotes tagged as "detroit" Showing 1-30 of 57
Martin Luther King Jr.
“If a man hasn’t found something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Gabriel Rheaume
“I bought salvation from a man on the street. He said, "Go down to the beach and let the waves wash your feet.”
Gabriel Rheaume

Elmore Leonard
“There are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and scenery, views of mountains or oceans, rockbound or with palm trees; and there are cities like Detroit that have to work for a living, whose reason for being might be geographical but whose growth is based on industry, jobs. Detroit has its natural attractions: lakes all over the place, an abundance of trees and four distinct seasons for those who like variety in their weather, everything but hurricanes and earth-quakes. But it’s never been the kind of city people visit and fall in love with because of its charm or think, gee, wouldn’t this be a nice place to live.”
Elmore Leonard

Jeffrey Eugenides
“Planning is for the world's great cities, for Paris, London, and Rome, for cities dedicated, at some level, to culture. Detroit, on the other hand, was an American city and therefore dedicated to money, and so design had given way to expediency.”
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Christopher Hitchens
“And I'll close by saying this. Because anti-Semitism is the godfather of racism and the gateway to tyranny and fascism and war, it is to be regarded not as the enemy of the Jewish people, I learned, but as the common enemy of humanity and of civilisation, and has to be fought against very tenaciously for that reason, most especially in its current, most virulent form of Islamic Jihad. Daniel Pearl's revolting murderer was educated at the London School of Economics. Our Christmas bomber over Detroit was from a neighboring London college, the chair of the Islamic Students' Society. Many pogroms against Jewish people are being reported from all over Europe today as I'm talking, and we can only expect this to get worse, and we must make sure our own defenses are not neglected. Our task is to call this filthy thing, this plague, this—this pest, by its right name; to make unceasing resistance to it, knowing all the time that it's probably ultimately ineradicable, and bearing in mind that its hatred towards us is a compliment, and resolving (some of the time, at any rate) to do a bit more to deserve it. Thank you.”
Christopher Hitchens

Paul Beatty
“If Disneyland was indeed the Happiest Place on Earth, you'd either keep it a secret or the price of admission would be free and not equivalent to the yearly per capita income of a small sub-Saharan African nation like Detroit.”
Paul Beatty, The Sellout

Jane Jacobs
“Detroit is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Charlie LeDuff
“And it is awful here, there is no other way to say it. But I believe that Detroit is America’s city. It was the vanguard of our way up, just as it is the vanguard of our way down. And one hopes the vanguard of our way up again. Detroit is Pax Americana...America’s way of life was built here.”
Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy

Rebecca Solnit
“If paradise now arises in hell, it's because in the suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems, we are free to live and act another way.”
Rebecca Solnit, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster

Edward L. Glaeser
“It’s hard not to empathize with the mayor’s anger, given the injustices he’d suffered, but righteous anger rarely leads to wise policy.”
Edward L. Glaeser, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier

Charlie LeDuff
“I was shown mold, leaking pipes, exposed asbestos insulation, broken toilets, cracked floors, malfunctioning heating units, feces bubbling up from the sewer pipes in the basements. I had seen better government buildings in the slums of Tijuana. Neven and the boys from 23 told me it was bad but what I was seeing was worse than the Baghdad fire department, which actually got more than one hundred fifty million dollars from the United States government, while Detroit got zero.”
Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy

Charlie LeDuff
“The city belongs to the black man. The white man was a convenient target until there were no white men left in Detroit. What used to be black and white is now gray. Whites got the suburbs and everything else. The black machine’s got the city and the black machine’s at war with itself. The spoils go to the one who understands that.”
Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy

Jeffrey Eugenides
“in Detroit, in July of 1967, what happened was no less than a guerrilla uprising.
The Second American Revolution.”
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Italo Calvino
“[The Great Khan' said: 'It is all useless, if the last landing place can only be the infernal city, and it is there that, in ever-narrowing circles, the current is drawing us.'

And Polo said: 'The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live everyday, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.”
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Italo Calvino
“[The Great Khan] said: 'It is all useless, if the last landing place can only be the infernal city, and it is there that, in ever-narrowing circles, the current is drawing us.'

And Polo said: 'The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live everyday, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.”
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Charlie LeDuff
“In Detroit, we all talked the race game. It is a way of life.”
Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy

Angela Flournoy
“I don't just sit around hopin for nothing. I do shit. It's the 'hope' part that fucks that line all up. You should change it to somethin like, 'We fight for better things,' or 'We work for better things.' Or 'We plan for better things.' That's what's wrong with this city; it ain't about the mayor. Too many people busy hoping shit will get better to actually figure out a way to make shit better.”
Angela Flournoy, The Turner House

“Haven't you heard, the Dread Scott decision has been overturned?"

"Not out here, baby," Warren replied, without a second's hesitation. "For that matter, not in Washington, either, or in Detroit, or at the Vatican, or at the Harvard Law School. People are objects and we use them. Out here, I like to think, the trappings surrounding the transaction are a little more attractive. But we're all the users.”
Joyce Haber, The Users

Charlie LeDuff
“Somehow, the city of promise had become a scrap yard of dreams.”
Charlie LeDuff, Detroit: An American Autopsy

Charlie LeDuff
“In Detroit, it's so fucking poor that fire is cheaper than a movie. A can of gas is $3.50 and movie is 8 bucks. But there aren't any movie theaters left in Detroit so fuck it. They burn the empty house next door and they sit on the fucking porch with a 40, and they're barbecuing and laughing because it's fucking entertainment.”
Charlie LeDuff

Scott Martelle
“The population began dwindling after silk hats replaced beaver hats in high fashion... collapsing the fur trade, in what would become a familiar pattern for Detroit.”
Scott Martelle, Detroit: A Biography

Hunter S. Thompson
“The Youth Vote
But there are not many people in Washington who take this motion of the "youth vote" very seriously. Not even the candidates. The thinking here is that the young people who vote for the first time in '72 will split more or less along the same old lines as their parents, and that the addition of 25 million new (potential) votes means just another sudden mass that will have to be absorbed into the same old patterns... just another big wave of new immigrants who don't know the score yet, but who will learn it soon enough, so why worry?”
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72

John Rachel
“Where I grew up, women’s liberation was when you let a chick out of her cage so she could stretch her legs for 15 minutes.”
John Rachel

Italo Calvino
“Here in Turin you can write because past and future have greater prominence than the present, the force of past history and the anticipation of the future give a concreteness and sense to the discrete, ordered images of today. Turin is a city which entices the reader towards vigour, linearity, style. It encourages logic, and through logic it opens the way toward madness.”
Italo Calvino, Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings

Michael A. Ferro
“This was when the aging smokestacks atop the monumental factories began to shut off one by one. There were still plenty left running to keep the air over Detroit filled with that choking industrial aptitude, but you were never far from a hollowed-out factory, massive steel tubes on the roofs pointing up toward the sky with nothing left inside but dust and cobwebs. These giant pillars of concrete and metal now jutted high like extended index fingers from broken and casted hands, pointing toward something they would never touch.”
Michael A. Ferro, TITLE 13: A Novel

“A ghost story’s reduction of a complex moment or the history of building into a series of cliches is reproduced in beautifully staged photos that fetishize the past without truly representing it. “Ruin porn” is the visual analog of the ghost story.”
Colin Dickey, Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places

“It was in the fall of 1986 that I first saw the devil on the streets of Detroit. We were introduced by a friend who works for a local radio station. “Spend the evening before Halloween with me and I'll show you something you've never seen before,” he promised. "People try to burn down their own neighborhoods. They call it Devil's Night.”
Ze'ev Chafets, Devil's Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit

R.J. King
“Detroit has turned the corner on its renaissance, but few people know how the city was, and still is, at the cutting edge of manufacturing, innovation, and culture. My new book is a tribute to the men and women who built a city out of the wilderness starting in 1701, and sustained its incredible growth to become the world's Industrial Versailles in 1900. And the best part is, Detroit is still leading the way. It remains the ultimate Maker City.”
R.J. King, Detroit: Engine of America

“Clark Foreman proposed a Detroit development, the Sojourner Truth Homes, for African Americans. The project was in the district of Democratic Congressman Rudolph Tenerowicz, who persuaded his colleagues that funding for the agency should be cut off unless Foreman was fired and the Sojourner Truth units were assigned only to whites.

The director of the Federal Housing Administration supported Tenerowicz, stating that the presence of African Americans in the area would threaten property values of nearby residents. Foreman was forced to resign. The Federal Works Agency then proposed a different project for African Americans on a plot that the Detroit Housing Commission recommended, in an industrial area deemed unsuitable for whites. It soon became apparent that this site, too, would provoke protests because it was not far enough away from a white neighborhood. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt protested to the president. The FWA again reversed course and assigned African Americans to the Sojourner Truth project. Whites in the neighborhood rioted, leading to one hundred arrests (all but three were African Americans) and thirty-eight hospitalizations (all but five were African Americans).

Following the war, Detroit's politicians moblized white voters by stirring up fear of integration in public housing. Mayor Edward Jeffries's successful 1945 reelection campaign warned that projects with African Americans could be located in white neighborhoods if his opponent, Dick Frankensteen, won. Jeffries's literature proclaimed, 'Mayor Jeffries Is Against Mixed Housing.”
Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Tiya Miles
“Michigan is still home to one of the most extreme human containment systems in the United States. Its prison population has increased by 450 percent since 1973, and the state maintains a higher rate of imprisonment than most countries. African Americans are the largest incarcerated group by far in Michigan, with a total population of 14 percent and a penal population of 49 percent. Latinos and Native Americans are incarcerated in Michigan at rates equal to their population percentage. However, white Michiganders, who make up 77 percent of the general population, are underrepresented in the prison population at 46 percent. Racialized sentencing policies have much to do with these statistics. Historians Heather Ann Thompson and Matthew Lassiter, the founding codirectors of the Carceral State Project at the University of Michigan, point to "draconian" state legislation that by the 1990s included the infamous "lifer laws," which exacted life terms for narcotics possessions of over 650 grams and extinguished the opportunity for parole. As men and women were thrown behind bars for nonviolent offenses in the 1980s through the early 2000s, Detroit neighborhoods were gutted, children were orphaned, and voter rolls were depleted.”
Tiya Miles, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

« previous 1