Detroit Hires Official “First Storyteller”

Aaron Foley

Photo by Kenneth B. Foley

Want to change the picture? Want to get it right? Make sure you have someone to tell your stories. That’s what Detroit did recently, making the city the first in the United States to hire an official first storyteller. From The Guardian:

As the city starts to emerge from a long period of decline, the democrat mayor has appointed Aaron Foley, a popular African-American journalist to the new position in a city that at 83% percent African-American – the blackest major metropolis in America.

The $75,000 (£58,000) position, believed to be the first of its kind in the US, was conceived to give Detroiters a way to connect and discuss issues that don’t get covered by the city’s traditional media, and part of a dedication Duggan and Foley share to create a “meaningful and impactful ways to give Detroiters and their neighbourhoods a stronger voice.”

Foley, formerly the editor of Blac Detroit magazine and author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass, says local residents deserve better and more diverse stories about the reality of living in the city. Many have long since grown accustomed to stories that celebrate either the “ruin porn” of abandoned auto-factories and urban desolation, or pre-emptively trumpet Detroit’s resurgence as a post-industrial tech hub.

The full article is here.

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