Sunday, June 20, 2021
A detour to historical Detroit
My original plan to drive to Buddy's was to take I-275 south to I-96 east to the Davison Freeway, leaving us two blocks south of Buddy's. Then I saw a two mile stretch that wasn't a freeway and had second thoughts (this is Detroit, after all). The backup plan was to then drive I-275 north to I-696 east to I-75 south to the Davison Freeway, but a chance conversation with the front desk revealed that the I-696/I-75 interchange was closed off until I think next year. That meant I went with my original driving plan. I only bring this up, because on the way back to the hotel I caught sight of the “Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Book Store / Art Gallery” (the street view from Google). Despite the sign being so fantastic, this is for real and I spent some time going down a historical rabbit hole.
Not only had I never heard of this organization, but its history is mixed with that of the Detroit Riots of 1967, which I had heard of from my grandparents. I also learned that Gordon Lightfoot's song “Black Day in July” was about the Detroit Riots, and the song was banned in 30 states (although I do recall hearing the song as a kid—either because it wasn't banned in Michigan, or my parents had the record, but I do distictly remember that song).
And to think that a chance glance of an odd sign on a building could lead to such an interesting rabbit hole, only because my preferred route to a Detroit restaurant was under construction.