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.

Report: Homelessness in Michigan dropped 19% in 2020

By: - October 22, 2021

Homelessness in Michigan dropped 19% in 2020 from 2019, according to a new report. “Ending Homelessness in Michigan” was created in collaboration with several state government departments and agencies. It outlines a combination of factors contributing to 2020’s reduction in homelessness, including the implementation of eviction moratoriums. It also highlights the Michigan State Housing Development […]

Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame honors Action House founder, Walgreens CEO

By: - October 22, 2021

During a 1945 trip to Boblo Island Amusement Park in Bois Blanc Island, Ontario, Sarah Elizabeth Ray was denied entry onto the boat that sailed along the Detroit River solely because she was African American.  The state of Michigan brought a racial discrimination case against the ferry service operators and won. The Bob-Lo Excursion Co. […]

On this day in 1944: Lillian Hatcher becomes UAW’s first Black female union rep. 

By: - October 21, 2021

Lillian Hatcher, the first Black woman to serve as a United Auto Workers (UAW) representative, was appointed to the Women’s Division of War Policy on Oct. 21, 1944, according to multiple news sources, including the Michigan Chronicle, the state’s largest Black-owned newspaper.  In the role, the resident of Detroit’s Boston-Edison neighborhood worked directly with Walter […]

On this day in 1977: Damon Keith secures U.S. Court of Appeals seat

By: - October 20, 2021

U.S. District Court Judge Damon Keith of Detroit was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 20, 1977, to sit on the federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The action came three weeks after he was nominated to the post by U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, to replace Wade McCree Jr., another […]

Enviro, social justice activists rally in metro Detroit for Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan

By: - October 19, 2021

Environmental advocates and community justice groups held rallies in Detroit and Warren on Monday to urge passage of the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, a measure that addresses climate change, immigration reform, education funding, rising health care costs and other measures. “Government is about people,” said U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) during […]

Black leaders rally in Detroit, call for fairer redistricting maps 

By: - October 12, 2021

State Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit), along with a group of clergy, civil rights leaders and others, on Tuesday gathering in Detroit to call for better racial representation in draft maps offered by the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC).  There are currently 17 districts that are majority Black, Hollier said: two in Congress, five in […]

Asian Americans in Hamtramck, Detroit fight to preserve voting bloc in redistricting process

By: - October 5, 2021

As the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) nears the end of its process to draw new legislative districts before the 2022 election, members of the metro Detroit Asian Pacific Islander (API) community are raising concerns. API residents in Hamtramck and Detroit have flagged a proposed redistricting map they said would split their voting bloc […]

Parents rally for hospital workers, urge statewide school mask mandate 

By: - October 4, 2021

Michigan parents in three cities rallied on Monday outside hospitals to show support for health care workers and called for universal masking in all schools to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong participated in the Royal Oak rally with her daughter.  “We wanted to come out and support our health care […]

On this day in 1991: Jazz great and one-time Detroit resident Miles Davis dies 

By: - September 28, 2021

On Sept. 28, 1991, jazz trumpet great Miles Davis died. He was 65. Davis was born in Alton, Ill., grew up in nearby East St. Louis, and moved to New York City to study at the famed Juilliard School in 1944. He lived in Detroit during a pivotal point in his career in 1953 and […]

Black business leaders applaud Detroit chamber’s focus on equity but say more needs to be done

By: - September 24, 2021

Black business leaders in Detroit on Thursday applauded the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce for offering several Mackinac Policy Conference sessions centered on racial diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) but urged the business and financial lending communities to do more to support African American businesses.  “I’m new to the chamber, and I’m about inclusion,” said […]

On this day in 1958: The Spirit of Detroit statue is formally dedicated

By: - September 23, 2021

On Sept. 23, 1958, the Spirit of Detroit was formally dedicated. In 1955, visual artist Marshall Fredericks was commissioned by the Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority to create a sculpture for the city to represent hope, progress and the “spirit of man.” The bronze was cast in Oslo, Norway, and covered with acid to oxidize the […]

On this day in 1992: Presidential candidate Bill Clinton visits MSU

By: - September 22, 2021

On this day in 1992, Democratic presidential nominee Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton visited Michigan State University and spoke to a crowd behind the Beaumont Tower at the East Lansing-based institution.  After the speech, Clinton walked on campus and along Grand River Avenue shaking hands with passersbys. Clinton went on to win the presidency, defeating Republican […]