MOTOWN: Yo Town & My Town by Butch Ford
What is Motown? Now that’s a loaded question. And we’d probably hear several dozen responses of varied degree, I suppose. Some may agree that it’s a majestic little white house at 2648 W. Grand Blvd. on the west side of Detroit. While others may take the “hit making factory” approach. If you answered either way, you’re definitely not wrong. But that’s not the narrative this time. The journey for me started towards the latter part of the 60’s, continued throughout the 70’s and was nurtured in the 80’s. These were times where society put emphasis on family, love and unity. Churches, schools, neighborhoods and community centers all had a hand in our upbringing.
“It takes a village” right? Maybe it was a naive perspective, on my part? Or was I just looking at things through rose colored lenses? But something happened. In fact…several things happened. We could talk for hours about the collapse of the African American family, the failed education system, or the lack of pride and self-respect as “a people.” But I’m more interested in solutions to these problems. What can we do to right these wrongs? Where do we even begin?
I don’t like to speak on politics or religion publicly. My grandmother Mattie Mae taught me that at a young age. But something has to change. And I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself here. It’s going to take a village AGAIN…if we want our pride back. If we want our self-respect back. If we want our dignity back. And if we want our Motown back! Let’s make a change my people!