Detroit has long been a hotbed of activism.
From the civil rights protests of the 1960s to the labor union movement, Detroit took to the streets in ways most cities never have.
The last few years have been no exception. Detroiters have taken to the streets to oppose the state financial takeover, to rally in support of Trayvon Martin and to express disgust with predatory lending practices.
Photographer Emily Lockhart was there to capture it all with poignant black-and-white images. A photography student at the College for Creative Studies in Midtown, Lockhart is featuring the photos in her senior thesis, “Detroit: An Activist.”
Here is how Lockhart explains it in her artist’s statement:
Bankruptcy, a ten letter word that no family, business, or even city ever wants to hear. It is a word that means failure, but it can also mean hope. Hope for new beginnings and a new way of life that could change the way a person or group of people function and thrive.
On July 18th 2013, Detroit became the largest municipality in U.S history to declare bankruptcy, taking an already struggling city by shock and turning their world upside down. In spite of overwhelming odds, the people of Detroit and its surrounding suburbs are refusing to back down in a glorious attempt to save the city they love.
The work in this series is an observation of the most dedicated of citizens as they make an attempt, through demonstrations and marches, to change not only the city of Detroit but the rest of the country as well.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.