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Detroit, Music Video wins Best Hip Hop Video at the American Music Video Awards; explores tax foreclosures and gentrification

Hey everyone,

Join me in sending big ups to all my Detroit family for winning the above mentioned award. Brother Will Copeland hittin' it big-time! My auntie Maureen Taylor makes an appearance as does baby brother Brandon King of Cooperation Jackson formerly of Picture the Homeless. There's even a cameo by a very famous Detroit movement lawyer!! ☺  The video was directed by Kate Levy activist  and filmmaker from Detroit. Check out the video by clicking on the link below.

Take Tha House Back Official Music Video

In solidarity,


“Take tha House Back,” a Detroit-made music video which explores Detroit’s mass tax foreclosure problem, won “Best Hip Hop Video” at the American Music Video Awards this weekend in Charlotte, NC. The video is directed by Detroit filmmaker Kate Levy and Detroit hip hop artist Will See. The video is produced by Bryce Detroit for Detroit Recordings. The song was produced by Matthew Cross, for Rise Like Lions Productions. The song also features Detroit civil rights icon Maureen Taylor. The video features the Detroit Poetry Society, who is currently restoring to function as a live-work space in the North End.

Following the 2008 financial meltdown, home assessments remained high, while property values plummeted. These improperly assessed home values led to tens of thousands of long-term homeowners losing their homes on the heels of the tsunami of bank foreclosures that ransacked neighborhoods. According to the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures, from 2011-2015, the Wayne County Treasurer 1 in 4 homes faced tax foreclosure.

Take tha House Back also shines a light on who benefits from these foreclosures. As thousands of Detroiters lose their homes, new Detroiters are purchasing properties cheaply through the Detroit Land Bank Authority. "The reason why the land bank has 100k properties is because of tax foreclosures," says Michelle Olberholzer of United Community Housing Coalition. 

Take Tha House Back worked with local organizations such as United Community Housing Coalition and Detroit Eviction Defense to use the video to bring awareness to this issue. Part of this process was to bring to life the resistance and neighborhood-level sufficiency of long-term Detroiters who are defending their homes. "One solution," says Olberholzer, “is for the Land Bank to offer homes to people who previously lost homes during tax foreclosure. This is what the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures is calling for. We have all of these vacant properties now. There is no reason why people who lost their homes unjustly should continue to suffer." To seek help, volunteer for or donate to tax foreclosure prevention, reach out to United Community Housing Coalition or the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures. To hear stories of Detroiters who lost or saved their homes from foreclosure, visit detroithomeownership.org , a project of United Community Housing Coalition and director Kate Levy. To watch the video, visit vimeo.com/willseemusic/tthb

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