Inside Southwest

By Antonio Cosme
These young men fight over the chance to push a lawn mower and without their help I wouldn’t have been able to cut so many lawns today. 12-ish lawns. I wasn’t really keeping count.

Organize organize organize. We filled 3 bags with trash, an important first step when harvesting grass. Yes. Harvesting grass. This wonderful green nitrogen rich grass will be an important layer in our garden bed. So we meticulously picked up garbage before cutting the lawns to develop as pure soil as possible. So much garbage on Ogden it’s crazy.

My neighbors were really pleased to see all of us young people cutting lawns and working for free. Someone even offered me a job. A lady tried to pay us. Others gave water.

#cooperative labor #volunteer #communitylabor #laboroflove #swgrows #permaculture #urbanfarm #swdetroit

I want to make sure everyone knows, I am not special, this isn’t abnormal in Detroit much less my neighborhood. This isn’t because of a new culture in Detroit. It has nothing to do with the bankruptcy or downtown. Nothing to do with Mike Ilitch or Dan Gilbert. Not part of Opportunity Detroit. No gentrification required.

The people of Detroit organize, organize, organize. We do this everyday. It’s hiphop we make something out of nothing. Share resources. Give our time. Work together. I’m telling you our stories because I am privileged enough to be articulate and because this shit isn’t in the news. It’s not what most people think of when you hear Detroit. But this is what Detroit means to me... community.

About The Author: Antonio is an activist and artist who grew up in Southwest Detroit in the neighborhood around Lonyo and McGraw.  He frequently uses cell phone photography to contribute to community-driven narratives coming out of Southwest Detroit as residents continue to create and share media (photographs, words, video, etc) about their experiences and perspectives.  

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