shitweliPlenty has been written about the origins of patriarchy in Western civilization; The Tenth can add nothing new. The first form of domination may have been humans over nature, or men over women, or the old over the young—it kinda’ really doesn’t matter much—patriarchy still became the most pervasive form of domination in our culture. But honey, when it’s all said and done, you can’t dominate Nature, for she is a woman, and when the sea levels rise and the sun explodes, trust, you’ll be begging for your mamma, not yo daddy.

Plenty has also been written about Detroit, America’s favorite symbol of urban blight and corruption. But as we’ve seen with Nature, the most pervasive image is not always the correct one, so when we went looking to build a collection of stories—historical, personal, or somewhere in between—about the present and future of Detroit, we knew we’d have to look no further than the girls for an authentic look at what an emerging engine of prosperity looks like, even when it’s being misrepresented as a city of epic cultural and economic catastrophe.

Meet Bree Gant and Steph Blair—two dynamic Detroit natives who’ve made it a point to take the image of their city into their own hands. In Volume Three of The Tenth, the girls took us around to see a new Detroit (from edgy contemporary art in outdoor galleries covered in graffiti all the way to the historic monuments of American Industry and Black enterprise) and we soon learned that Detroit is the 21st century’s version of what expansive opportunity just might look like for Black queer folk; a place where we just might regain that pleasure of being in control of our environment and contesting anyone’s usurpation of that control, maybe.

If you’d like to have a closer look, check out their RockCityLookBook—a fascinating look into the emerging art & culture scene in Detroit. If images of vacant lots and burnt out buildings are what you’ve become accustomed to, well then (control+alt+delete), because these ladies are presenting images of a city that is in many ways more open and more liberating than anything that has come before it.


Catch Bree Gant and Randal Jacobs, “The Makers” in The Tenth, Volume Three and go to to see more of her work starring awwllll the Detroit playas.

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