Saturday, March 22, 2008

Flint Portraits: Dee Dee Bridgewater

Jazz great Dee Dee Bridgewater talks about growing up in Flint at

Well, my father was a trumpet player and we listened to a lot of jazz, and I think the fact that I grew up in Flint Michigan, which is a very industrial town, helped to develop my artistic side because I had nothing to do so I fantasized a lot. I love to say that Flint is a good city to be from.

It's very sad what's happened to Flint now. General Motors was basically the backbone of that city. It was factory town. Most of the blacks in Flint moved there from the south because
General Motors was employing blacks in the factories. My father was a school teacher and my mother was a secretary and later became a junior executive with General Motors. Most of my friends families worked in the factories and then a lot of my friends who stayed in Flint also worked in the factories. I remember I even went over to GM to one the factories to get a job but they told me I was over-qualified and they didn't hire me. So that was a blessing!


  1. Reminds me of the late, great Lou Rawls' stuff that he did in the late '60s. Yes, I'll have another...

  2. Wow, Dee Dee Bridgewater. I used to work with her mother, Marion Hudspeth, at Buick HQ in the 80's.

    She would come and visit- it was pretty awesome.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at