See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Detroit People 2015 

To paraphrase an old saying, a city’s true wealth is its people. By that degree, metro Detroit is rich beyond measure. It’s said that people don’t shrug their shoulders about Detroit. If true, it’s partly due to the bold character of the people who live in this sprawling metropolitan region. It’s filled with a self-selecting group of folks who choose to stay in one of the most troubled — and yet most promising — places in the country.

Detroit abounds in people with strong feelings and a desire to share them, and seems to lack a lot of the bloodless people who’d rather talk about the weather. Detroiters seem to relish a good argument, grappling with the issues in ways that sometimes feel less like an exchange of opinions than a great demolition derby of ideas. Sometimes the only thing we all can agree on is that being here means so much to us that we must stubbornly remain.

That’s the community we wanted to explore in our initial People Issue. We wanted to find the people who appreciate Detroit, react to it, try to heal it, and celebrate it daily. We dove deep and came up with scores of nominees, all of them passionate, opinionated, ingenious people wrestling with problems, scoring personal victories, and all with many a tale to tell. We took pains as we whittled down our list to include as many different kinds of people as we could — people of different races, faiths, occupations, income levels, and orientations. It was there we found our real affluence.

Some people might think Detroit too gritty a place to produce “beautiful people,” with all its divisions and adversity. We know better. Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross put it well when she wrote: “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

If that doesn’t sum us up, what does?

So go ahead, dive in, and get to know 30 of your neighbors. You’re better off for having them around.

Click on a photo to learn more about our selections. Photos by Jacob Lewkow.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation