Tot’s Spot

There’s a new chef in town! We sat down to learn about Tot’s Spot with its creator, Ta’te Hinds.

What are the origins of your culinary practice?

My love for cooking goes back to the 5-year-old me watching Emeril Live with my grandmother. The first time I heard him yell BAM! as he tossed seasonings in the skillet, I knew that I wanted to be a chef. After that, I made it my mission to get into the kitchen whenever the opportunity arose. I’ve taken culinary courses throughout high school and college. Currently, I am a culinarian for The Ross School of Business, which allows me the opportunity to work under amazingly talented chefs and learn new techniques every day.

Tell us about the menu you’re currently working with.

As of right now, Tot’s Spot is only making chicken & waffle sliders with a side of Cajun seasoned fries. This happens to be one of my favorite guilty pleasures and I wanted to share it with the world. With increasing popularity, we plan to expand the menu, but chicken & waffle sliders will always be available.

What are your dreams for Tot’s Spot? Or do you envision it more as a temporary experiment/intervention?

Tot’s Spot started as an experiment with my best friend and business partner, DeAndre Slappy. We received so much unforeseen love and support that we’ve been opening every Saturday since January 28. We like the idea of having a pop-up restaurant but a food truck is our ultimate goal.

There’s a recognition among many folks that Ypsilanti is lacking in Black-owned and -operated eating establishments. What kind of supports do you think Tot’s Spot—or any other new dining/drinking project originated by people of color—needs in order to successfully begin to address this lack?

A chance. If people just gave us and others a fair chance they might find that they enjoy the food and/or the people running the operation.

When’s the next time we can eat at Tot’s Spot?

This Sunday we’re having a meet-and-greet mixer during Beezy’s brunch hours, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. The main focus this week is to win over some new customers by offering samples, the opportunity to pick our brains a little bit, and give some suggestions for future menu items. We don’t have a set price for this week’s mixer but donations are suggested.

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MI Curious? Indeed.

From Michigan Radio’s website:

Ask your question below!

Is there something you’ve seen or heard and thought, “I wonder what that’s all about?”

Well if you drop your question in the form below, we just might find an answer! All MI Curious stories originate with questions submitted by the public. Each month, we vote on what question we should dig into next!

So fellow Michiganders, what are you curious about?

Question 4, Mr. Schram.

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Policing and the Violence of White Being

An Interview with Dylan Rodríguez

Casey: The US white-supremacist state operates today through a different set of discourses and cultural structures than in previous epochs. Your work interrogates such shifts at a level of depth and nuance that is of particular importance for emergent struggles against racist state violence. “Multiculturalist white supremacy,” “post-racial liberal optimism,” “white academic raciality”—such terms are utilized throughout your work to interrogate a myriad of theoretical and historical conundrums that define the post-Civil Rights era, particularly in regards to racial violence and subjectivity. Can you, in very broad strokes, lay out what you are trying to accomplish with these interventions in the discourses, practices, and forms of embodiment that so violently delimit the possibilities for radical social change in the United States?

Dylan: The aftermath of American apartheid’s formal abolition has been overwhelmed by a grand national-cultural vindication of “Civil Rights” as the vessel of fully actualized gendered-racial citizenship. This fraud has, in various ways, facilitated rather than interrupted the full, horrific exercise of a domestic war-waging regime. For the sake of momentary simplicity, we can think about it along these lines: the half-century narrative of Civil Rights victory rests on an always-fragile but persistent common sense—the idea that national political culture (“America”) and the spirit of law and statecraft (let’s call this “The Dream”) endorse formal racial equality. Bound by this narrative-political context, the racist state’s mechanics shift and multiply to rearticulate a condition of normalized racist violence that is condoned or even applauded by the institutionalized regimes of Civil Rights. (It is not difficult to see how the NAACP, JACL, LULAC, Lambda, NOW, Urban League and other like-minded organizations condone or applaud domestic racial war, so long as it is directed at the correct targets: gang members, drug dealers, “violent criminals,” terrorists, etc.). In other words, the contemporary crisis of racist state violence is not reducible to “police brutality” and homicidal policing, or even the structuring asymmetries of incarceration: it is also a primary derivative of the Civil Rights regime.

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Chicana por mi Raza

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All liberatory movement depends on resistance. The most effective forms of resistance are nourished by regular contact with popular archives—books, pamphlets, workshops, conversations with elders, meetings, skillshares, talks by historians, report-backs by frontline fighters—as well as by immersion in largescale repositories like physical libraries and archives. The archives that best lend themselves to praxis, however, have always been mobile. Chicana por mi Raza (CPMR) is one such unfixed, borderless resource. In the words of the CPMR crew:

[T]he Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective is a hybrid archive, museum, and digital curriculum organized around capturing important Chicana and Latina voices from the long Civil Rights Era. Chicana por mi Raza […] is first and foremost an oral history project with over 150 oral histories, as well as over 5000 digitized supporting archival records. CPMR has also been integrated into courses nationally, both in a traditional primary resource capacity, but also as a dynamic pedagogical strategy. This site showcases student-created curations, a selection of digitized records, and more information about how you can access the full digital archive by joining the Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective.

On Friday, February 17, we have an opportunity to hear a conversation between CPMR’s Maria Cotera and filmmaker Nancy De Los Santos, in conjunction with De Los Santos’s exhibit Chicana Fotos.

In Chicana Fotos, an exhibit of evocative photographs taken in the 1970s, we meet a very different Nancy: a woman armed with a camera, capturing historic events in the struggles for social justice of the time. Nancy’s photographs of Chicano Movement marches and rallies, farmworker mobilizations in Chicago and Texas, and Latina organizing in the Midwest and internationally offer a priceless documentary view of Latina/o politics the 1970s. Her more intimate pictures of everyday Latina/o life capture what it was like to live through a period of radical social transformation. The exhibit includes rare photographs of UFW organizing activities in Chicago, the Texas Farmworker Pilgrimage of 1977, and the first ever International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City in 1975. These images are supplemented by never-before-exhibited documents from the Walter P. Reuther UFW Collection.

The conversation will take place at 12:00 p.m. in the Woodcock Conference Room, Walter P. Reuther Library, 5401 Cass Avenue, Detroit. The show’s opening reception begins at 4:00 p.m. the same day—spread the word!