Author

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 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.

Black Michigan mothers continue call for paid family leave legislation

By: - February 3, 2023

As the 30th anniversary of the seminal federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) nears, African American Michigan mothers and caregivers on Thursday shared their experiences and called for state paid leave legislation.  “Paid leave helps parents be more responsive to their children,” said Christina Hayes, a paid leave organizer at Mothering Justice, a Detroit-based nonprofit. […]

Michigan leaders speak out on continued violence against Asian Americans

By: - February 1, 2023

Michigan leaders and residents are continuing to mourn those lost to more violence against the Asian-American community.  Civil rights groups and government officials participated in a public vigil on Saturday to remember victims involved in mass shootings last month in Monterey Park near Los Angeles and Half Moon Bay, Calif. Attending the event were state […]

Michigan Black lawmakers renew call for police reforms after Tyre Nichols killing

By: - January 31, 2023

Members of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC) on Tuesday continued their call for police reform after the fatal beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tenn. “Enough is enough,” said state Rep. Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit), 30, who is African American, during a news conference at the state Capitol.  His comments spoke to several fatal […]

Hall of Fame journalist Luther Keith uses blues music to keep telling stories 

By: - January 28, 2023

Luther Keith is a former journalist, community leader and blues musician who believes that songwriting is similar to state Capitol news reporting.  “It’s 100% connected. God gave me the gift of words and the ability to write. Lyrics are the thing that people connect to. There are a lot of musicians who are great but […]

Advocates make the case for an EITC hike before the State of the State address

By: - January 25, 2023

During a virtual town hall, the head of the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) on Wednesday said that legislation increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a chief priority for her organization and she is hopeful that it will have bipartisan support.  “This tax credit will specifically target and help individuals in our […]

Roe v. Wade at 50: A look back at the fight for abortion rights in Michigan and nationwide

By: - January 22, 2023

On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision ruled that the U.S. Constitution supports the right to have an abortion.  The case, Jane Roe v. Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas, would come to be known as a landmark decision. The plaintiff’s name was a pseudonym Norma Leah Nelson […]

Michigan AFL-CIO: MLK said Right to Work laws destroy unions, hurt ability to improve wages

By: - January 18, 2023

The Michigan AFL-CIO on Tuesday continued its call for a repeal of the state’s Right to Work legislation.  “The teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remain at the forefront of our work, and Michigan’s labor movement reminded state legislators of his pro-worker message yesterday,” said Ron Bieber, Michigan AFL-CIO president. “Dr. King’s message was […]

MLK’s historic Detroit Walk to Freedom march is remembered 60 years later 

By: - January 16, 2023

On June 23, 1963, more than 125,000 people marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. down Woodward Avenue in Detroit in an effort to promote civil rights.  Participants included funeral home owner Benjamin McFall; activist and real estate broker James Del Rio (who later served as a state House member); the Rev. C.L. Franklin, pastor […]

On this day in 1977: Gov. Milliken signs the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act 

By: - January 13, 2023

On Jan. 13, 1977 Gov. William Milliken signed into law the seminal Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. It went into effect on March 31, 1977.  The bill package at the time was regarded by many as the leading statute of its type in America. It prohibited discriminatory practices, policies, and customs. It also prescribed additional powers […]

Activists: Bernstein should ‘repent’ for slamming fellow justice for hiring a returning citizen

By: - January 12, 2023

A group of activists representing returning citizens and other community organizations on Thursday held a news conference in Southfield where they called for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein to continue to “make amends” for his recent comments regarding his colleague, Justice Kyra Harris Bolden, hiring a returning citizen.  “[Bernstein] and his family are not […]

On this day in 1835: Michigan leader calls a constitutional convention

By: - January 12, 2023

On Jan. 12, 1835, Stevens T. Mason, Michigan territorial governor, called for a constitutional convention. The 24-year-old had been appointed by President Andrew Jackson to serve as secretary of the Michigan Territory four years earlier.  Mason’s request came two years before Michigan was admitted into the union. Held in Detroit, 91 delegates attended the convention […]

On this day in 2011: Detroit community leader Bernadine Newsom Denning dies

By: - January 11, 2023

On Jan. 11, 2011, Bernadine Newsom Denning, longtime Detroit resident and community leader, died at age 80. She was living in Port St. Lucie, Fla., at the time of her death.  Over the course of five decades, Denning earned a distinguished record as an educator, civil rights leader, and advocate for women.  In 1951, she […]