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September 06, 2010

Labor Day Special

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For Labor Day, we take you to River Rouge, Michigan. An industrial enclave just down river from Detroit, it's a town full of union workers, including Don "Doop" Duprie. Growing up, everyone he knew was in a union; his granddad worked at the steel plant and his dad fixed police cars for the city. Nobody thought about college, and Doop got his union card right out of high school. Jobs were well-paid, but River Rouge always seemed teetering on the edge of ruin.

Things are improving with the economy, but people are still without work and others are losing their homes to foreclosure. Doop is now making music full time. His music is all about River Rouge, and the working people that have prospered and suffered there. Doop talks to Dick about how he expresses economic disappointment and frustration through music.

  • Visit the Inside Outlaws Music Collective Web site


In the early 1970s, young photographer Alex MacPhail decided to walk across the country, taking pictures and looking for a window into America. Alex focused on working people, snapping pictures of people on farms, in mills and mines and distilleries, and cowboys on the range. A book project fell through and Alex put his images in a box. It wasn't until he finally printed the photographs more than thirty years later that Alex realized what they meant to him. In looking for a window into America, he had really found a window into himself. 

  • Learn more about Alex's trip and the pictures he took
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