Detroit, Detroit versus Everyone, Aaron Foley, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Detroit redefined: City hires America’s first official ‘chief storyteller’ | The Guardian Irritated by the relentless focus on ruin porn, or pre-emptive stories about the city’s tech resurgence, Aaron Foley will attempt to offer a more nuanced portrait



Detroit’s Irish-American mayor, Mike Duggan, has hit on a new way to remodel the narrative of a city beset by a history of decay, race riots and violence: hire an official “chief storyteller”.

As the city starts to emerge from a long period of decline, the democrat mayor has appointed Aaron Foley, a popular African-American journalist to the new position in a city that at 83% percent African-American – the blackest major metropolis in America.

The $75,000 (£58,000) position, believed to be the first of its kind in the US, was conceived to give Detroiters a way to connect and discuss issues that don’t get covered by the city’s traditional media, and part of a dedication Duggan and Foley share to create a “meaningful and impactful ways to give Detroiters and their neighbourhoods a stronger voice.”

Foley, formerly the editor of Blac Detroit magazine and author of How to Detroit in Detroit Without Being a Jackass, says local residents deserve better and more diverse stories about the reality of living in the city. Many have long since grown accustomedto stories that celebrate either the “ruin porn” of abandoned auto-factories and urban desolation, or pre-emptively trumpet Detroit’s resurgence as a post-industrial tech hub.

Detroit, Detroit versus Everyone, Aaron Foley, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Detroit, Detroit versus Everyone, Aaron Foley, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


CHARLES H. WRIGHT MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY | WASHINGTON, DC

Founded in 1965, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has for over half a century been a leading institution dedicated to the African American experience.

Our mission is to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. Our vision is of a world in which the adversity and achievement of African American history inspire everyone toward greater understanding, acceptance and unity!
The Wright Museum houses over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials and is home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, Coleman A. Young Collection and the Sheffield Collection, a repository of documents of the labor movement in Detroit. (Biography.com).