Video: NY Times Documentary Tracks 5 Detroit H.S. Seniors

A New York Times documentary -- "The Detroit Graduates" -- follows the path of five seniors at Denby High School In Detroit from 2013 when Detroit was in bankruptcy, to 2015, in the post-bankruptcy comeback.  

PBS describes it this way:

Through the voices of five high school seniors who found themselves about to graduate into a city regarded as a cautionary tale of post-industrial economic downturn in 2013, The New York Times documentary The Detroit Graduates shares a different perspective.

The New York Times journalists Kassie Bracken and Eugene Yi and Detroit-based photographer Fabrizio Costantini spent the year of the bankruptcy visiting Denby High School in northeastern Detroit, then checked back in to see where TomAndre, Hakeem, Demetrius, Tazya and Shakkur found themselves a year and a half out of high school.

One student earns a scholarship at Michigan State University. Another goes to prison. Another starts a security business.

Scholarship recipient Hakeem Weatherspoon talks about the joys of being at MSU and experiencing culture shock.

"I don't see people throwing trash on the ground. The grass is always cut. I'm like,'wow, landscaping is a son of a gun. They take this serious.'"

He recalls a bus stop waitat college when someone complained that the bus was five minutes late.

"I'm like, man, if you was only raised in Detroit, you'd be waiting an hour."

Read more:  The New York Times

Email Signup
Send us your email address and we’ll send you the best of Detroit!