By Amber Shattuck-Pipe

I’ve heard people say that Detroit is color-blind. I call bullshit!


In my Detroit, we are all different. We have different lives and different struggles and different preferences. Many of those things stem from WHAT we are as much as who we are. We are black and white, gay, straight, Mexican, Serbian, male, female, gender neutral, privileged, oppressed, loved, hated and everything in-between.


In my city, when you want to be equal there is only one place to go…the dance floor is the Detroit I love.


On the dance floor it all falls away for a while. It doesn’t matter what continent you originated from, or what state or city you live in, when our bodies are speaking the same language. It doesn’t matter that our moves are different, our hearts are beating to the same bass, our souls grooving to the same rhythms. On the dance floor our bodies communicate hope, joy, and love better than we ever could with words or thoughts. I’ll make a crass joke about being too white to dance very well and, hopefully, you’ll laugh and we’ll tell each other stories with our moves.


On the dance floor I have laughed, cried, and screamed at the top of my lungs. I have been drunk, sober, and a million other things. I have danced well and I have danced badly, but I’ve always danced. I have made lifelong friends on the dance floor and I have fallen in love, sometimes for just one night. We don’t come to talk politics, religion or philosophy. We don’t come to talk at all. We come to move, to love, and just to BE. And we are.


The Detroit I love sees you. ALL of you. My Detroit sees your colors, your roots, your beginnings, and your daily struggles. The Detroit I love knows all about you and this city loves you and everything you are.


Photo : Robert Guzman

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