Located on Cadieux and Warren on Detroit’s southeast side bordering the Grosse Pointes, this beautiful school is located where the former Jared W. Finney High School was located. I’ve only worked here once or twice since the school has been erected. The stories that I could tell about both Finney and the new EEVPA high school. One of the last high schools that I’ve worked in as a Detroit Public Schools employee was my alma-mater, Kettering High School, and the majority of the staff-myself excluded because I transferred to another school-had relocated to East English Village. I still call it Finney no matter what. I do hope that they resurrect the name, not only because of the history of both staff and students, but of the name itself. Finney High School was named after one of Detroit’s early District Attourneys, Jared Warner Finney, whose family fortune was one of the contributing factors of the completion of the Underground Railroad. I never went to Finney like most of my friends did, but I did, however, had the privilege of working there. I first worked there in June 1996, and fell in love with the place! I was only there for a week, and came back during the 2004-2005 school year. I still miss it. The stories I could tell.
And now, some pics that I’ve taken of East English Village’s preceding tenant…
Around late 2006, early 2007, J. W. Finney had to relocate due to years of neglect and disrepair and was relocated to the former Ronald McNair Academy (formerly Andrew Jackson Intermmediate School) where it remained until it was shut down by the end of the decade.
Originally, DPS‘ plan was to merge the Finney name with another school at the former Finney site. The board scrapped that idea (they always scrap the good ones) and renamed what was supposed to be Crockett-Finney to the East English Village Preparatory Academy. My memories with Finney remain strong because of its history. It was orignally an elementary school that was expanded/converted into a high school making it one of the contemporary high schools in the city of Detroit. My mother was one of the first black students to attend that school in the 60s. And I would tell her until the time that they shut it down; “Mama, your school has changed!” My family went there, I was hoping to go there (I’ll blog about that later), I was glad years later that I didn’t. But even after its “resurrection” and “metamorphosis”, it wasn’t the same anymore. I will say this, nothing [on this side of Armageddon] lasts forever. That said, I was at the right place at the right time. My dad worked at Finney as a janitor before me, and he said it was one of his least favourite schools. Probably because it was in the early 1980s and racism was still an issue back then. I used to work with one of the janitors there who was the first black janitor there in the late 70s (he has since retired), and the (white) students put that man through Hell! Just hearing it was scary, made me question how mom coped with it as a student back then. But perseverance has paid off for him, I spoke with him recently, and he is loving his retired life as well spending time with grandkids, and great-grandkids. Every time I drive on Cadieux and Warren, I will always cherish my time at Finney.
Still hopeful that they will bring the name back, but I doubt it.
But a man can dream, can’t he? Just sayin’.
And BTW, more to come, God willing…