Renaming PTSD, George Shirley, Sanders Bumpy Cake, One Detroit Weekend | One Detroit

This Week on One Detroit:

Push by local Vietnam veterans to rename Post Traumatic Stress Disorder gains momentum

As the nation prepares to commemorate Veteran’s Day, a significant shift in the discourse surrounding mental health is on the horizon. Advocates are pushing for a change in terminology, replacing “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD) with “Post Traumatic Stress Injury” (PTSI) in an effort to reduce stigma and encourage more individuals to seek treatment. The group leading this charge, “Honor For All,” is comprised of Vietnam veterans who understand that the impact of trauma extends far beyond the battlefield.  

One of the driving forces behind this movement is Kent Hall, a former Sergeant in Phu Bai with the 220th RAC during the tumultuous year of 1969. Kent has silently battled PTSD for decades, initially unaware of his condition, and even teetered on the precipice of suicide. Thanks to his connection with Doug Price, Thomas Mahany, and Dr. Frank Ochberg at Honor For All, Kent has not only come to understand his struggle but now dedicates his time to educating others. He shares his experiences and insights, emphasizing that PTSD is not a weakness, but a wound that deserves healing, with the goal of helping veterans and their families find the support they need. 

The debate surrounding the renaming of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) hinges on more than just semantics. While both terms encompass the same set of symptoms, the crucial distinction lies in their conceptualization. PTSD traditionally defines these symptoms as a disorder, while PTSI reimagines them as a biological injury. Mental health experts have long recognized physical alterations in the nervous system in PTSD, and some argue that the change in terminology could alter public perception of the condition and reduce stigmas around it.  

One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota explores these issues and more in his conversation with Honor For All activists and mental health experts, shedding light on a movement that may change the landscape of mental health support for veterans and several other groups affected by the condition. 

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African American tenor, trailblazer George Shirley reflects on his storied career

As one of the first African American operatic performers, renowned tenor and trailblazer George Shirley’s contributions to the world of opera and his enduring commitment to music education have left an indelible mark on the industry. Notably, he was the first African American tenor and the second African American male to sing leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera, where he graced the stage for an impressive eleven years.  

His achievements extended beyond the spotlight as the first Black member of the United States Army Chorus in Washington, D.C. and the first African American to hold a high school music teaching post in Detroit. Shirley has a music education career spanning nearly five decades, and he is a Grammy Award-winning artist who has been passionate about the profound value of music education and the pivotal role it plays in nurturing future talent. 

In a candid and insightful discussion, Shirley sat down for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with 90.9 WRCJ contributor Cecelia Sharpe about his remarkable entry into the opera scene and his history as a music educator. He also talks about his dedication to championing classical works by Black composers and emphasizing the importance of recognizing and preserving this rich musical heritage. 

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Getting the scoop on Sanders Bumpy Cakes: The history of the iconic Michigan dessert

You might know Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shoppe for its famous bumpy cake, or maybe for bringing the tradition of “Sweetest Day” to Detroit, but did you know the iconic Detroit candy brand started more than a century ago? Confectioner Fred Sanders Schmidt opened up his family candy store in 1875, after moving from Chicago following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. By the 1960s, his candy store had become a household name in Detroit. 

But the Bumpy Cake many have come to know and love may soon be out of stock by the end of the year, Vic Mehren, CEO of Second Nature Brands, the parent company of Sanders, announced in a Facebook post. The iconic chocolate cake was for many years made by the Livonia-based Minnie Marie Bakers, Inc., better known as Awry’s, until the bakery announced it was closing. The company continues to search for a new partner to make Bumpy Cakes with.  

“After conversations with more than a dozen bakeries, we have not yet found a new partner who can maintain the high quality and classic taste that our consumers expect and deserve. Unfortunately, this means that Bumpy Cakes will soon be out of stock until we can find a new bakery partner with the capabilities to get us back into production,” Mehren wrote.  

From Detroit Public TV’s “Detroit Remember When: Made in the Motor City” documentary, One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota and host Erik Smith learn about the history of the Sanders brand from Brian and Karen Jefferson of Sanders Candy, as well as several Sanders fans including John Rapson, the late Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, WOMC Radio’s Steve Kostan, Charlie Langton from Fox 2/WWJ Radio and others. 

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One Detroit Weekend: November 10, 2023 

What’s new this weekend in November? The holiday season inches closer with “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.” Motor City Comic Con makes it way to Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Plus, Mrs. Doubtfire brings its laughs and love to the Fisher Theatre stage. And, there’s plenty more! Check out what you can do around Southeast Michigan on “One Detroit Weekend” with contributors Peter Whorf and Cecelia Sharpe of 90.9 WRCJ. 

List of Upcoming Events: 

  • Grab a costume and cosplay as your favorite superhero or video game character at Motor City Comic Con, taking place at Suburban Collection Showplace Nov. 10-12.  
  • Explore the representation of the Black body in a new exhibit “Skilled Labor: Black Realism in Detroit” at Cranbrook Art Museum through March 3, 2024. The exhibit features 20 contemporary artists, all with ties to Detroit. 
  • Celebrate the sounds of the sea with the Michigan Philharmonic for its La Mer performance at Saint Kenneth Church. The performance will also feature two local university choirs. 
  • Hop into the Christmas spirit with Broadway’s no. 1 holiday hit, Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, through Nov. 12 at the Fisher Theatre. 
  • Laugh along with everyone’s favorite Scottish nanny for the internationally acclaimed new hit musical Mrs. Doubtfire coming to the Fisher Theatre Nov. 14-26. 
  • Enjoy an adaptation of the timeless holiday story, A Christmas Carol, put on the Players Guild of Dearborn. Performances take place on weekends from Nov. 10-26.  
  • Get your live music fix with pianist Michael Zaporski performing at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. There is no cover charge for the performance.  
  • Check out a new exhibit “People You Know” by artist Marianna Olague at the David Klein Gallery that features a new series of familial portraits. The exhibit is open Nov. 11 through Dec. 23. 

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