Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.

Black business group bikes from Detroit to Mackinaw City, seeking investment

By: - September 13, 2021

Members of a Detroit-based organization on Sunday launched a 377-mile bike ride from the Motor City to Mackinaw City, making the case that African-American entrepreneurs, businesses and nonprofits are not getting their fair share of opportunities. “The pandemic has shined the light on an issue that has been here,” said Black Leaders Detroit CEO Dwan […]

On this day in 1925: Man killed during mob attack on Black physician’s Detroit home

By: - September 9, 2021

On Sept. 9, 1925, a white mob attacked the Detroit home of Dr. Ossian Sweet, an African-American physician. The Sweet residence was located in a predominantly white neighborhood on the city’s lower eastside.  Sweet bought the home located at 2905 Garland Street in June of that year for $18,500, about $6,000 more than its fair […]

It comes down to trust: Study shows progress on vaccine hesitancy in Detroit 

By: - September 7, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its 18th month, Detroit still lags behind the state average for COVID-19 vaccinations. The city’s vaccination rate is 43.1% for those aged 12 and older, significantly lower than the state percentage of 60.6%. It’s also far lower than 70.7% for Oakland County, which borders the Motor City.  But a University […]

State reports 4,494 new COVID-19 cases, 90 deaths

By: - September 1, 2021

Updated, 6:26 a.m., 9/3/21, with corrected U.S. deaths The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of  951,192 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,347 have died from the virus — an additional 4,494 cases and 90 deaths since Monday. The new numbers combine Tuesday and Wednesday recorded […]

On this day in 1964: Democratic titans Conyers and Austin square off for U.S. House seat 

By: - September 1, 2021

On Sept. 1, 1964, John Conyers Jr. edged out Richard Austin in the Democratic Party primary contest for Michigan’s new 1st Congressional District seat. Conyers won the primary 108 votes. The race was so close that Austin requested a recount. After the ballots were tabulated again, Conyers’ margin of victory was a razor-thin 44 votes, […]

Michigan Republicans announce voting restrictions ballot measure as end-run around Whitmer

By: - August 31, 2021

Updated, 9:58 a.m., 9/5/21 with Johnson’s correct party affiliation After months of hearings on legislation restricting voting rights, Michigan Republicans, as expected, unveiled on Monday a citizen-led ballot measure. The advantage of going this route is that the GOP-controlled Legislature has the power to approve it, thus going around Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has […]

On this day in 1967: Gov. George Romney says he was ‘brainwashed’ on Vietnam War

By: - August 31, 2021

On Aug. 31, 1967, Gov. George Romney of Michigan, a leading contender for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination, told Detroit television talk show host Lou Gordon that he had been subject to “brainwashing” by American generals into supporting the Vietnam war effort while touring southeast Asia in 1965. “When I came back from Vietnam, I […]

‘We have to make sure that the things that we have fought for don’t get taken away’

By: - August 30, 2021

Some Michigan residents were among thousands rallying Saturday in the nation’s capital to protest a recent legislation they say suppresses voter rights, particularly for people of color and young people. The Rev. Charles Williams II, Michigan National Action Network chair, addressed the gathering in Washington, D.C. “In 2021, we’re going to keep this fight alive […]

On this day in 1971: KKK bombs empty Pontiac buses set to racially integrate schools

By: - August 30, 2021

On Aug. 30, 1971, 10 idled Pontiac School District buses were destroyed by Ku Klux Klan members. Dynamite was the weapon.   Black- and silver-haired Kevin Davidson, 61, remembers it like yesterday.  He was 11 when his African-American family moved to Pontiac from Detroit 50 years ago. They lived in the newly constructed and predominantly Black […]

On this day in 1952: ‘Scottsboro Boy’ Haywood Patterson dies in Michigan

By: - August 24, 2021

Haywood Patterson, one of the “Scottsboro Boys” found guilty in a Jim Crow-era criminal trial, died 69 years ago on Aug. 24, 1952. He was 39.  The one-time Detroit resident had been stricken with cancer. Patterson’s life ended while serving a separate manslaughter conviction in Jackson, Mich., prison. Patterson was born in rural Georgia on […]

State reports 3,920 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths since Friday

By: - August 23, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 933,394 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,123 have died from the virus — an additional 3,920 cases and 10 deaths since Friday. The new numbers combine Friday, Saturday and Sundays recorded cases and deaths, with an average of […]

On this day in 1954: Ralph Bunche is named to key UN post

By: - August 19, 2021

On Aug. 19, 1954, Detroit-born Ralph Bunche was named United Nations undersecretary.  Founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, the U.N. was designed to prevent war between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. Bunche, who played a key role in the creation of the organization, was the […]