BLAC’s 20th Anniversary Throwback: Flashing Back to 2014

BLAC anniversary throwback

The city itself was the star in the pages of BLAC of 2014. In July, to celebrate Detroit’s 313th birthday, we embarked on a good old-fashioned “D Tour,” splitting the city into regions and telling you where, within those nooks, to eat, play and soak in some culture.

Throughout the year, we kept up with Detroit’s burgeoning food scene, sampling the city’s most comforting ramen and inventive hot dogs, and spotlighting the newest restaurants that were popping up like whack-a-moles. Some have solidified themselves as go-tos for scrumptious grub, and others went underground for good.

We questioned the city’s leaders, like Brenda Lawrence and then-emergency manager Kevyn Orr, on how they’d pull Detroit up and govern us into a renaissance; we even asked kids how they’d run the city if they were mayor. Detroit’s impending resurgence was palpable, and five years later, we can feel the boom.

Still a Thing

Folks get rich eating into mics and you can get a meatless Whopper, but these topics featured in BLAC in 2014 were a thing then and are still relevant today:

Thrift shopping


Saving the bees

Emerging artists



On Tap

In our April issue, we introduced our readers to tapping, an emotional freedom technique purported to ease stress and pain with firm taps on the body’s key pressure points along invisible contours called “meridian lines.” We chatted with proponents and teachers of the alternative treatment – believed to be started by ancient Egyptians – who claim the practice can help ward off everything from daily anxieties to post-traumatic stress disorder to cancer.

Advocates like Kai Heru Rama were pushing to have tapping – also called “tapology” – and other holistic techniques, be taught more regularly in medical schools and practiced in mainstream institutions. Researchers of a 2019 EFT study featured in Medical News Today involving 203 people – mostly women over 50 – reported that participants experienced significant reductions in anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms, as well as in pain level and cravings, and improvements in happiness. Still, some skeptics dismiss tapping as woo-woo pseudoscience.

Health Scare

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa started quietly but soon spread across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to become a full-blown epidemic. The U.S. freakout started when Thomas Eric Duncan showed up to a Dallas hospital, deathly sick with the virus. Panic ensued, and schools and stores closed as Americans worried about travelers from Africa coming into the country with the disease. Fears settled as eight of the 10 U.S. patients recovered and were allowed to go home. Though scientists and disease experts say the next global pandemic is all but inevitable.

No Fly Zone

In the summer of 2014, the phrase “no fly zone” took on a whole new meaning. Detroiters no doubt remember the hit ’em up drama that ensued between local rapper Trick Trick and Miami-bred artist Rick Ross. If you need reminding, Ross was supposed to headline HOT 107.5 FM’s annual Summer Jamz concert at Chene Park (now Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre). Well, Trick Trick and over 100 of his “goons” showed up to the venue and barred Ross entry, claiming that he was on the rapper’s “No Fly Zone” list, stemming from a disagreement on matters of “respect.”

BLAC’s then-senior editor Emell Derra Adolphus sat down with Trick in October to get his side of the story, but the resulting piece caused a bit of behind-the-scenes drama at BLAC. Trick gave a profanity-laced, albeit fascinating, interview. The higher-ups debated about the propriety of printing his direct quotes, uncensored. Well, this is America and this is the patois of many corners of black Detroit, and so ultimately, we decided to let the ‘shit’ fly.

On the reason for the ‘No Fly Zone’ …

“Canada’s government does the exact same thing that I do. Only difference is we gonna beat that ass. And I’m just saying if you are coming to Detroit, let me see why we should let you come here and pick up all this money. What are you doing for us? Because these motherfuckers aren’t going to do nothing but keep doing people like this. And keep doing what they do if somebody don’t stop them. And sometimes, the motherfuckers just happen to be famous.”

On being a ‘child of God’ …

“I stand for righteousness. It’s all about righteousness and respect. Being a child of God, you are going to be an activist, a philanthropist, a messenger, a teacher, a leader. People are going to hate you. But you know, show me a leader with no enemies, and you don’t got a leader.”

On community involvement and gentrification …

“Speaking engagements, soup kitchen, helping the homeless. Anything. I am involved in everything they call me for. Listen. If you live in Detroit. And you own your home. That’s your shit. They are not gonna send militia to kick you out your home. But they are going to come in there and clean that shit up.”

In ’14

Solange lets loose on Jay Z in an elevator after the Met Gala

Apple buys Beats by Dre 

The “Sexy Felon” makes the internet swoon

Lupita Nyong’o wins the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for12 Years a Slave

Mo’ne Davis becomes first girl to pitch a shutout game in the Little League World Series

History Highlight

After decades of an embargo with the communist island nation, the Obama administration smoothed relations with Cuba. Opponents of Fidel Castro’s regime denounced the move, but others heralded the beginning of a new era which looked like a U.S. embassy in Havana, and freer travel and trade. 

Viral Quote

“I am DELIVERT! I don’t like mens no more!” – Andrew Caldwell

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