Forged in Flint

Forged In Flint tells the story of a place, it shows how industry and business can cause reverberations outward to the culture of people that reside locally. However, Forged in Flint’s story is one of the people who live in Flint, and their efforts to change the perception of their city for a better future.
Apr 18, 2024 — 3 min read

About this video series

For Every Kind of Dream

For Every Kind of Dream

We believe in an economy that has room for everyone’s dreams. These are stories of everyday people chasing extraordinary dreams.

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Transcript

Speaker 1: When people are covering stories on Flint, it's always negative. 

Speaker 2: If it's not the ghosts of the auto industry, 

Speaker 1: It's going to be the crime rate, 

Speaker 3: Very high poverty rate, 

Speaker 2: Murder capital, 

Speaker 4: Economical downturn, 

Speaker 3: The Flint water crisis, the 

Speaker 2: Water crisis and water. 

Speaker 1: The water

Speaker 2: We're a town that always has some kind of dark cloud, always hanging over us. 

Speaker 3: People really try to make us hate our city, but I love it here, and I know so many other people who do. 

Speaker 6: Everywhere I go, if I say I'm from Flint, somebody says, oh, their faces change. They only see what they seen on tv. 

Speaker 1: Flint has a certain resilience that is not seen as much as it should be seen. 

Speaker 5: We have this bridging and culture of entrepreneurship. People who have decided to stay in Flint throughout difficult times are people who have an optimism about the community and an optimism about the people. 

Speaker 5: So you're making salsa or you just slice and eat it? 

Speaker 4: It was just a seed that we had and we were like, Hey, let's use our money, our time, our energy, and develop something here in a place that actually needs it versus leaving it.

Speaker 8: We don't have the intravenous option yet, but it's coming soon. Okay. 

Speaker 9: We started attracting these little indie DIY, almost like punk rock businesses because the barrier to entry was so low. 

Speaker 6: Community is what keeps the city going. If we all have to just sit, forget the city and left, this place will be abandoned right now. So it was important to plant our seed right here in Flint to keep that community ties going. Malik, can I get you to wrap up some more silverware? When I started my business, I literally had $10 in my pocket. I didn't know if it was going to work. I was just like, hey, let's see what the first six months do, and we've done excellent. We doubled numbers last year with tripling them this year. 

If I can come out of the situation I was in, coming out of prison, starting a small business here, and people actually know my story and still support me, I think it's representative city as a whole. I love it here. 

Speaker 3: We have always had a history of making things and creating things. It's in our blood, making music, making physical objects, making art. It's important that we remind people there are still ways to build lives around making things, even if it's not cars anymore. 

Speaker 10: Ready to go. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1. 

Speaker 3: There's been a lot of extra stress and trauma on a lot of the use in this area. That's unacceptable to me. So it was incredibly important to start Girls Rock Flint and be able to offer the creative and healthy way to get those feelings out. Campers, they get to learn to play music, but also to make merchandise like T-shirts and buttons. The wonderful feeling of having made something and then made money off of it and all of these things that kids might not be thinking about now, but we want to get them thinking about that for the future. 

Speaker 5: Five a piece. What other things do you need? 

Speaker 2: For about 15 years, all of my hopes and dreams and everything that I wanted to do was through music. At some point with my band, I was basically the only one that was in a heroin addict. It literally affected everyone that I knew. I started to see things in different perspectives, and it was a really profound epiphany for me to realize that I could actually channel that passion into another art form. I still express myself like I did through drumming, but now I do it through food. I cook the same way that I drum with the same sensibility as the same energies, and it's just as exciting. I've actually never used this before. So that's up, obviously. And then, oh wait. Here it is. You can have an idea here and make it into reality. Hello. How are you doing? I had no cooking experience and I started a food truck on a whim. Six years later, I have three restaurants and I'm about to move into a brick and mortar right here in downtown Flint. I don't know where else that can happen in the world. 

Speaker 5: We'll do what we need to do. It's going to go Goddess of the Fireflies, 21 permits. Okay. 

Speaker 3: If Flint hadn't faced the challenges that it has faced, we wouldn't have all of this amazing opportunity to replace what we've lost with new and improved us. 

Speaker 11: There are bad things in Flint. There's no question. You can't deny reality, but there is a fighting spirit. 

Speaker 2: Something has shifted, and all these voices that have been holding us back are starting to disappear. 

Speaker 1: There's great things that are happening here, and I think when people come here and they see for themselves, they see, oh, wow, this is really not as bad as they say. 

Speaker 2: We go through our struggles. We go through all the judgment that we get from everywhere around the world, and at the end of the day, we find our own path into a bigger and greater and brighter Flint. 

Speaker 4: The city that fell down and was able to get back up, that's Flint baby. We got that grit. You can't just tell us, no. Can't tell us. No here. We're going to get to yes, somehow.

Credits

Director

Bradley Tangonan

Producers

Julie Mastalerz

Madeleine Askwith

Creative Directors

Carl Sturgess

James King

Related

Robb Klaty of Tenacity Brewing, Heyday Coffee, and Flint Crepe Company knows the importance of community. Here's how he's helping bring that spirit back to Flint, Michigan.

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