Question: What’s the craziest thing you learned about Detroit when researching for this book?
Perhaps two of the craziest things that I found in Detroit involved graffiti and an old envelope.
While I was investigating an abandoned middle school, I found some graffiti near the attic with a name: Marshall Mathers. Thinking back through the dates, the school was open when Marshall would have attended there. Who is Marshall Mathers? Well, he’s better known as Eminem. Was this a fake, or was this his real graffiti? Who knows, it was still intriguing to find.
Secondly, while I was investigating St. Agnes church, a place where Rosa Parks served as a secretary while living in Detroit, we found an old envelope addressed to her in a pile of papers still left scattered across the floor. It made for an interesting souvenir. Doing research, you never know what you’ll find, but for me, the surprises are always worth the time spent doing it.