Martha's Story

My relatives (most of them) ended up in Flint, MI in the early 20th century from Canada. They came to work in the auto plants, or if not specifically the plants, then the booming city that grew up around the industry. They talked about Flint like a shining city on a hill, where anything was possible and where everyone made good money. They would not believe the Flint that exists now, they would not recognize it. To think that they would not have clean, fresh water flowing into their sinks, would have left them flummoxed. I am glad they cannot see what it has become, I am glad they cannot see that their neighborhoods, once vibrant and full of hope are now largely in ruins. The houses they were so proud of are in ruins or bulldozed. The downtown they loved for the shops, movie theaters and brick roads, is largely empty and just a small section of the bricks remain. A lot them saw the city begin it’s decline as plant after plant closed, but they would be shocked that the state has given up on Flint and its people too, after there optimism and hard work built it up. They would also be shocked that the country which so welcomed them in is now trying to turn people looking for a better way of life, away from its boarders.