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.

Historic Niles Black community poised to be added to federal register 

By: - April 21, 2022

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced this week that the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has been awarded a $50,000 grant to support an effort that could result in the Ferry Street District in Niles being added to the National Register of Historic Places. The funds come from the Underrepresented Community Grant program […]

On this day in 1980: Capitol Hill vet Diggs faces former judge for U.S. House seat

By: - April 21, 2022

On April 21, 1980, George Crockett Jr., a retired Detroit Recorder’s Court judge and current acting city of Detroit corporation counsel, announced that he would challenge embattled incumbent U.S. Rep. Charles Diggs Jr., a Detroit Democrat. Diggs, who became Michigan’s first Black member of Congress in 1955, was indicted in 1978 by a grand jury […]

Defend Black Voters Coalition to utilities: Offer ‘accountability for outages’

By: - April 20, 2022

The Defend Black Voters Coalition on Tuesday launched an effort against the “abuse of our democracy” by utilities DTE and Consumers Energy. The group — which includes social action nonprofits Detroit Action, MOSES Action, Michigan People’s Campaign, Mothering Justice Action Fund, Emergent Justice, Color of Change and Community Change Action — announced its “Taking Back […]

On this day in 1952: Inmates revolt at Jackson prison 

By: - April 20, 2022

On April 20, 1952, an inmate mutiny took place at the State Prison of Southern Michigan commonly known as Jackson Prison. About 200 prisoners were protesting what they described as physical abuse from corrections officers. The mutiny incident lasted for five days, resulting in $2.5 million damage to the institution. On May 1, 1952, Gov. […]

How barrier-breaker Jackie Robinson left his mark on Detroit

By: - April 15, 2022

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier. On Friday, MLB is set to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the historic moment for the Black Hall of Fame infielder. Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers until his retirement in 1957. The Dodgers played in MLB’s National League and the Detroit […]

On this day in 1955: First African American joins the Detroit Board of Education

By: - April 12, 2022

On April 12, 1955, Remus Robinson became the first African American to serve on the Detroit Board of Education, the governing body of the Detroit Public Schools, Michigan’s largest school district.  It was a historic move carried out after the resignation of U.S. Sen. Patrick V. McNamara (D-Detroit), a union-backed Detroit school board member. Robinson […]

‘Nobody can steal our joy’ 

By: - April 11, 2022

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic confirmation last week as the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court was widely hailed by African American women leaders in Michigan.  “It’s hard to be what you cannot see,” state Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden (D-Southfield) tweeted. “Thank you Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson for showing us what’s possible!” It’s […]

Rep. John Dingell

On this day in 1965: With John Dingell at the helm, U.S. House passes historic Medicare bill

By: - April 8, 2022

On April 8, 1965, U.S. Rep. John Dingell Jr. presided over a House of Representatives session where his colleagues approved the historic and seminal Medicare bill. In a bipartisan 313-115 vote, the House approved the legislation that was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in July of that year. It provided a health insurance […]

On this day in 1945: Michiganders carry out civil rights protest at Indiana Army base 

By: - April 5, 2022

On April 5, 1945, members of the U.S. Army 477th Bombardment Group attempted to integrate an all-white officers’ club. At least five Michigan residents took part in the effort.  It was both the final weeks of World War II in Europe and the final week of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s life, the ailing president who had […]

Michigan burial sites added to federal Underground Railroad historical listing 

By: - April 2, 2022

A pair of Michigan burial sites are among the new National Park Service’s 16 listings to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.  The announcement was made Tuesday of the historic Elijah Fish and George Taylor sites, located at Greenwood Cemetery in Birmingham.  “It’s fitting to welcome new additions to the National Underground Railroad Network […]

Wayne County freezes some foreclosures until 2023 amid pandemic

By: - March 30, 2022

Almost 2,000 owner-occupied properties are out of tax foreclosure in Wayne County through next year, according to a ruling from Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny.  “Our number one priority remains keeping people in their homes and too many Wayne County taxpayers are still suffering significant economic hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis,” said […]

On this day in 1922: William Milliken, Michigan’s longest-serving governor, is born

By: - March 26, 2022

One hundred years ago, William Milliken, the moderate Republican who signed landmark civil rights and environmental legislation, was born on March 26, 1922, in Traverse City.  The soft-spoken, low-key Milliken holds the distinction of being Michigan’s longest-serving chief executive, holding the office for 14 years. Long before the days of term limits, he served from […]