We asked folks watching the America's Thanksgiving Parade, "What brings us together as Detroiters?" More than 1,000 people texted back answers to our new community listening project, Speakeasy.
Below are some of the thoughtful, heartfelt and insightful messages texted in. As you'll see, they represent a strong, loyal, even fierce, pride in Detroit from people who live in, around or far from the Motor City. That pride alone clearly unites.
It's not too late to join the project. Txt 'PARADE' to (313) 395-1255 and you'll be prompted with the question. Share your answer and sign up to receive similar questions in the future.
Speakeasy: What brings us together as Detroiters?
"All the good things about Detroit e.g. the history, the automotive industry, the sports teams "GO LIONS" of course the Tigers and Redwings. I was born in Detroit and lived there most of my adult life. Even though I lived in Virginia Beach the last 8 years and now live in Evans CO. as of last July. I root for the Tigers, Lions and Redwings. I even buy Vernors at the local market and Bettermade potato chips on line." -Joseph Przystup,Evans, Colorado
"Been in Detroit 80 years -- voted every time eligible. Ain't goin' nowhere else!!!"
"I think that our tenacity and grit unites us as Detroiters."
"My father was a Detroit Policeman in the early 40's thru the late 60's. I was born in Bon Securs hospital. I wish he could see Detroit now...he retired early because of the riots. He loved all the sports teams, but especially the Lions!! The Lions and the parade were always a part of my Thanksgiving's growing up....even though I grew up in Boyne City. I now live in Troy and enjoy what Detroit has to offer. Detroit Strong!!"
"The annual jazz festival makes me feel the most like a Detroiter." -Chance Boyd, Lansing
"I think what unites us as Detroiters is our way to persevere through anything. We always have a positive outlook, a smile on our face, and a hand to lend to a neighbor. You don't have to live in Detroit to be a Detroiter. You just have to have a love for this great city and a want to be apart of its exciting future. Happy Thanksgiving."
"Whatever happens in this city effects each and everyone of us. Just thinking of all of what the city has been through. We can all come together for special events, I don’t see why we can’t come together when there’s no events. We need to do it big all the time." -Chryssi Hooper, Detroit
"Memories of lunch counters in Woolworths and Sam's cut rite drugs." -Elaine Brock, Detroit
"The feeling of pride to see our city back and thriving and when your born here its a self pride no one can deny I Lov being a Detroiter." -Elise Washington, west side of Detroit
"Detroiters are united by the Spirit of Detroit. A spirit full of soul and hope and determination." -Michelle Cissney, Howell, Mich
"The rebirth, revival and rebuilding of the fantastic city of Detroit! A true renaissance city. Looking forward to the amazing changes in the near future that will keep the city united." -Monique O’Callaghan from Canton, proudly born in Detroit
"Our diversity and love for this city and it's people unites Detroiters. Whether you come from the suburbs or live downtown, we want to see this city succeed and are willing to support it's development. There is a strength in this city incomparable to other places across the U.S. We are unbreakable." -Theresa, Rochester Hills
"Our love for the city, the celebration of diversity and community. Detroiters are very prideful. Motowns music connects us all along with our love for lions, Tigers and Wings!" -Amy Smith, Southfield
"Strong sustainable neighborhoods and outstanding community participation throughout the entire city." -Paul Davis, North Rosedale Park, Detroit
"Our Detroit heritage. My great-great-great-great grandfather, Peter Copper, was born in Detroit in the late 1700s and was the first African American businessman. It's wonderful having a long history here."
"Unity is a tough thing to do. When it comes to uniting a community well you're asking a lot and I believe it in a society where people are adamant about everyone being the same. To me I say aren't we Detroit? We don't care what others think and we should be the ones to start a difference to show. We can come together to do anything. You can't fix everything in the world, but we can try to unite to make a new one! Starting here at home." -Katie Nonte, 16, Sterling Heights
We'll post more responses to Speakeasy in the coming days. Thank you for the responses! It's heartening and overwhelming. Questions about Speakeasy? Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org