A delightful afternoon was held at Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary convent in Detroit on February 16, 2020, when guest speaker Arlene Reese presented an entertaining lecture on “The Rivers of Detroit”. This friendly “Tea” event helped raise funds for HVM ministries in Nigeria. Guests mingled and enjoyed heavenly Tea and snacks prepared by HVM associates.
Arlene Reese is a gifted and energetic woman who is herself a poet and celebrated librarian at Detroit Public Library. Her lively presentation was based on her research at the library, including facts on the Detroit River’s role in the Underground Railroad, photos of items found on the bottom of the river over the years (!!!) and stories of the Boblo boats and the Purple Gang mobsters running rum from Windsor to Detroit during prohibition.
Ms. Reese’s presentation closed to long applause with her recitation of American writer Langston Hughes’ 1920 poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”:
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.