Four years ago, I had the incredible experience of visiting Detroit to report on a gardening movement there for O, The Oprah Magazine. If you haven't been to Detroit, you might not understand your own country very well.
I met a lot of amazing people, but the most amazing might have been Asenath Andrews, the mordant, funny, and incredibly kind principal of Catherine Ferguson Academy, a unique public school for teenaged mothers and their kids. This is a serious place for students who are seriously committed to their education despite enormous obstacles. Some of the girls have to wake up before dawn and travel for hours on buses with their babies every day just to get there, but they do it. And college acceptance is a condition of graduation.
What made the place especially wonderful to me was the farm outside the school doors–an orchard, an enormous vegetable garden, goats, chickens, a horse–a place where both teenagers and their babies can experience a little beauty in the midst of a devastated city and learn about life.
But the issues here are bigger than just a wonderful school closing. Here is Rachael Maddow's rather amazing report on it all: