Detroit is Different

S5E9 -Bringing the Neighbor Back to the Hood: Yusef Bunchy Shakur hosts the 18th Annual Ava Jo Back Pack Give Away

Detroit is Different Episode

9 months ago

Relive the heartwarming moments of the 18th Annual Ava Jo Back to School Backpack Giveaway, an unforgettable event hosted by acclaimed author and community leader, Yusef Bunchy Shakur. Held at the Mama Akua House in the Zone 8 Neighborhood on August 5, 2023, the day was a remarkable testament to unity and support.

The event catered to all generations, offering a wide range of activities that delighted families. Children reveled in games, bounce houses, and face painting, while grandparents enjoyed the atmosphere of camaraderie. An Animal Zoo added a touch of magic with its inhabitants, including kangaroos, horses, and majestic turtles. The air was filled with laughter and wonder.

The dynamic My Detroit Players band set the stage on fire with their unique fusion of trip-hop and jazz over progressive rock-infused funk. Bassist Emily Rogers led the ensemble, accompanied by producer Nick Speed, drummer JR Gotthe HitS, keys maestro Shaphan 'Maestro' Williams, guitarist Duminie Deporres, turntablist DJ Los, and an ensemble of horns. The music added a vibrant backdrop to the festivities.

This year's event held deep significance as it carried on the legacy of Yusef Bunchy Shakur's mother, Ava Jo. As the driving force behind the event until her passing in 2022, her dedication resonated throughout. Over 200 families were provided with essential school supplies, clothing, and medical aid, easing their journey into the 2023-24 school year. The event's impact goes beyond numbers, as it annually feeds over 500 people, nourishing both bodies and spirits.

An introspective conversation between Yusef Bunchy Shakur and Detroit is Different host Khary Frazier explored Yusef's journey as a soon-to-be PhD graduate. The focus on the strength and influence of Black Mothers in the Black community added depth to the celebration.

Rooted in the philosophy of fostering authentic connections, the event epitomized its motto of "bringing the neighbor back to the hood." The day was a tribute to community, honor, and presence, encapsulating the essence of togetherness.

Detroit is Different is a podcast hosted by Khary Frazier covering people adding to the culture of an American Classic city. Visit to hear, see and experience more of what makes Detroit different.

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