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Thursday October 30, 2014
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Moving to Detroit

 

continued

Ellison, thirty-nine, grew up in Southfield. A former teacher in the Detroit public schools, he now advises the city on business ventures--and tapped into his own inner entrepreneur last summer by starting a kayak rental business on Belle Isle. Both he and Fritz are absorbed by Detroit-related activities: they play softball in a city league, she's part of a nonprofit trying to open a new theater near Wayne State, and both regularly attend local events like gallery openings and a friend's pop-up beer garden.

At one point, looking around Union Street, whose clientele is split pretty evenly between black and white, Fritz remarks that it's one of the most "diverse" places in the city. Although Ellison is African American, the couple acknowledge that most of the young professionals moving into the hip districts are white. While both live in racially mixed neighborhoods, the black residents tend to be older, usually long-established professionals and working people.

Adam Hollier is an exception. He grew up in Detroit, went to grad school at the U-M, and briefly served on the Ann Arbor school board before moving back home, where he ran for city council this year. At Perfecting Church the Sunday before the election, he shared the stage with Benny Napoleon and Andy Sokoly's candidate, Scott Benson. Despite the support of the church and an endorsement by the Detroit News, he lost narrowly to a better-known candidate.

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