I moved from Michigan to South Carolina last year. While my family is dealing with the usual adjustment issues, I’m also confronted with lots of stereotypes – Yankees, Southerners, dialects, and who eats what. It’s been an experience with a lot of surprises. I’m really enjoying watching all these nasty assumptions fall apart. Really, it’s for the best that they do.
According to Infoplease.com:
It took 15 years to create the federal Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. Congressman John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, first introduced legislation for a commemorative holiday four days after King was assassinated in 1968.
Michigan. Yeah. That makes me proud.
What makes me not-so-proud:
2005: South Carolina becomes the last state to make MLK Day a paid holiday for all state employees. Until now, employees could choose between celebrating it or one of three Confederate-related holidays.
And here’s what confounds me: When comparing the schools my boys attended in Michigan, South Carolina schools are so much more integrated. More diverse. My boys are now going to school with kids from so many more backgrounds than they were in Michigan. It’s a weird situation, because so many Southerners assume that us Yankees are total bigots.
I’m hoping that at least the natives of Greenville, South Carolina; which is so far away from Charleston and Columbia in both geography and weather, but also in social opinions; are starting to see that Detroiters care about embracing our differences and building something great together because those differences help us see things in many ways we wouldn’t have otherwise considered.
Every year, Pat McInnis participates in the “Know Your Black History” Tour, with leaders from the Detroit Pistons and Shock basketball teams. I love keeping track of the events on this tour each year, because this group of people does so much to empower students in the Flint and Detroit areas. They’ve already awarded their first $1,000 prize to a student who stood up in front of these basketball stars (and a few random business people that I’m sure this student couldn’t pick out in a line-up) and spoke. Five students spoke from their hearts, and stood up for embracing this nebulous value that some people still manage to malign.
This year’s tour gets something new: blog posts. What a better time to launch a blog that talks about making a difference in the community than the Know Your Black History Tour? We have so many people here at Quicken Loans that do this kind of stuff every day. So, a small group of us is going to squeal you all out! The Quicken Loans Difference Blog will highlight what Quicken Loans and Rock Financial people are doing to contribute to Detroit, Flint, Cleveland, Phoenix, and across the country. We hope you’ll join us for the ride; it’s been fun, and we just can’t keep the fun all to ourselves!