“So, what did you think?” I was sweating through my clothes, my mouth
was dry from talking for over an hour, and I was anxious to hear what Jan-
ice thought of my pre­sen­ ta ­ ti on on Fresh Start and BlackLight. A small mid-
western university had invited me to give a keynote lecture for a conference
during ­ Women’s History Month, and the event or­ ga ­ nizer wondered if I was
still in touch with any of the young ­women from Detroit who might be able
to join me during the three days I would be in residence, visiting classes and
giving talks about the implications of my research. Since Janice and I had
worked closely on BlackLight in the years following my departure from the
shelter and she had instituted her version of the pro­ je ct at her church, I
asked if she was available. I was also ­ ea ger to see her again in person and
facilitate the BlackLight workshops with one of its founding members. In
the years between the time we had spent at Fresh Start and this campus
visit, we frequently talked about the shelter, our thoughts on the work
that emerged there in the form of the Move Experiment and BlackLight,
and the experiences that she and other young Black ­women continued to
have in Detroit.
Janice read parts of the manuscript for this book and knew “the work”
more intimately than I did because it is or was her life—or at least a
version of her life seen through both of our lenses, which had become
clouded by memory, love, regret, and a resounding desire to say some-
thing that mattered beyond ourselves, Fresh Start, and even Detroit.
Previous Page Next Page