September + October 2021

SPACE AND GRACE


Last month, I talked about the beauty of revolution and change. Today, as we get the first year of our own revolution at BLAC under our belts, I’m reflecting on the scrapes and bumps along the way. Here, at the office, we often say, “We are not striving for perfection, we are striving for excellence.”


Perfection isn’t just elusive, it’s a fond illusion. Even if we get to perfection, maintaining it isn’t sustainable. Our humanity keeps that in check. Excellence has quality and merit. It gives us something more distinct to work against.

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In striving for excellence, we follow the mantra “Space and Grace”. That is, giving people enough latitude or “head space” to grow and the grace of understanding what it will take for them to get there. Unlike perfection, excellence allows for hiccups and bumps along the way. If we’re honest with ourselves, we have all made mistakes and experienced defeat on our chase to excellence. Space and grace is a humane and a beautiful theory, but it’s hard to put into practice.


For instance, one of our feature articles in the August issue, had a graphical error that made for some curious reading. It’s aggravating and embarrassing. Thank you for the space and grace. Deadlines cause tension, personalities come with attitudes, and sometimes for whatever reason, we can’t grow into the headspace or take the grace that has been given. Conversely, there are folks out there who are unwilling or just plain don’t want to give space or grace. We still love them where they are.


This month’s issue is important to all of us at BLAC. It marks the one year anniversary since we introduced the physical and design changes to BLAC Detroit. The changes were seemingly a group of little things, but from what we hear from you, they have had a big impact. The size, the velvety-soft cover, the bolder, more engaging graphics — these are all things that came out of allowing ourselves space and grace.


This month, in conjunction with the new movie, our cover story celebrates the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin and other female singers and fashion icons. As you flip through the pages, you will also catch our love for some of the greatest music venues in the world we are lucky enough to have here in Detroit. Our style team also takes a fresh look at home decor with Loretta Crenshaw, Detroit’s grande dame of interior design. We have a discussion with the founders of We Run 313 about building a happier, healthier and more connected Detroit through running. We close this month’s issue with pictures from our BLAC StyleMakers event, hosted by our partner Neiman Marcus. Everyone turned up and got their hustle on to celebrate Detroit’s most fashionable.


Enjoy this month’s issue and remember what The Queen said: “You cannot define a person on just one thing. You can’t just forget all these wonderful and good things that a person has done because one thing didn’t come off the way you thought it should come off.” – Aretha Franklin


With Gratitude,


Billy Strawter Jr


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