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.

Bipartisan Michigan lawmakers want Congress to speed up green card process

By: - March 22, 2022

In bipartisan fashion, two Michigan lawmakers have called for their colleagues to support federal legislation designed to help more immigrants obtain green cards to work and help build the American economy.  State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy), the Michigan Legislature’s first Indian immigrant and Hindu lawmaker, introduced House Resolution 248 on March 8 to urge the […]

Whitmer admin looks to revamp ‘outdated’ I-375 freeway in historic Detroit neighborhood

By: - March 19, 2022

As a young child, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist practiced jump shots and worked on skills to improve his tennis serve-and-volley at the Coleman A. Young Recreation Center in Elmwood Park on Detroit’s lower eastside.  “I also learned how to subtract large numbers riding my bike with my dad through Elmwood Cemetery,” he joyfully recalled during […]

On this day in 1939: Michigan Gov. Frank Fitzgerald dies in office

By: - March 16, 2022

On March 16, 1939, Gov. Frank Fitzgerald, a Republican from Grand Ledge, died early in his second term. The 54-year-old suffered a heart attack — his second medical emergency in a short period. Fitzgerald, who served during the Great Depression era, holds the distinction as the only Michigan governor to have died while in office. […]

Homeless kids would have safer options under Michigan legislation

By: - March 14, 2022

Legislation that aims to provide a “safe harbor” for homeless Michigan children has been introduced in the Michigan Legislature. House Bill 5756, sponsored by state Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren), would provide a “safe harbor for youth” for up to 72 hours with or without parental consent. The measure, introduced on Feb. 15, also seeks to […]

On this day in 1972: Michiganders attend the first Black political convention 

By: - March 11, 2022

On March 11, 1972, the first Black U.S. political convention took place in Gary, Ind., and included several Michiganders.  It was spearheaded by Democratic Gary Mayor Richard Hatcher, leftist poet and activist Amiri Baraka, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Charles Diggs, Jr. of Detroit — all African Americans. The conference, held over three days (March 10, […]

‘My heart couldn’t take it’: Two years into the pandemic in Michigan, a focus on healing

By: and - March 10, 2022

Molly Nixon’s heart couldn’t take it anymore. The day she decided to leave her job as a nurse at Mercy Health in Muskegon, she dissolved into tears because she knew the three COVID-19 patients she was caring for that day were going to die. “I’d briefly met my three patients, and there was the realization […]

Some Michiganders from Ukraine conflicted over Zelenskyy’s call to return, fight Russia

By: - March 4, 2022

Ukrainian-born Michiganders differed on whether people from their native homeland should return home, take up arms, and defend Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion. “The future of the Ukrainian people depends on every Ukrainian,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy within hours of the Feb. 24 attack from Russia. He urged all those who can defend the country […]

On this day in 1952: Coleman A. Young tells congressional committee he’s no ‘stool pigeon’

By: - February 28, 2022

On Feb. 28, 1952, union activist Coleman A. Young testified before the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a highly criticized congressional panel dedicated to identifying and rooting out communist sympathizers in America during the Cold War Era. The hearing was held in Detroit. “I understood from your statement you would like to help us,” […]

Whitmer promotes state help for small businesses as GOP lawmakers promise big tax cuts

By: - February 25, 2022

During a meeting with business owners on Thursday in Southgate, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continued to discuss elements of her $74 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget plan.  There, business owners shared concerns about the challenges of staffing employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and tax incentives to help to remain profitable.  Whitmer said during the meeting […]

House Dems rally to support electricians’ discrimination claims

By: - February 18, 2022

Members of the Michigan House Democratic Caucus on Thursday joined a coalition of labor voices in downtown Lansing to rally in support of the United Six — a group of electricians formerly employed by United Electric Contractors (UEC) who allege that they were discriminated against.  In a federal lawsuit filed in January, the group alleged […]

On this day in 1864: Michigan Black Civil War regiment is formed 

By: - February 17, 2022

On Feb. 17, 1864, the First Michigan Colored Infantry was mustered into service during the Civil War. The African Americans from Michigan, a Union state, fought with distinction against the slavery states of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. So how did the group come to be? A year earlier, the group was formed after an […]

Ontario premier issues state of emergency over ‘illegal occupation’

By: - February 11, 2022

After days of a Canadian right-wing protest of COVID-19 vaccine mandates that shut down the Ambassador Bridge connecting the country and Michigan, Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday issued a state of emergency. “My message to those still in Ottawa, to those at our border crossings, please go home,” Ford said. “To those of you […]