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 Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.

Michigan State Police is a long way from true diversity, critics say

By: - December 10, 2018

Only two of the current Michigan State Police 128-member training class — the first in several years — call Detroit home. What’s more: only one of them is a person of color.   The NAACP argues that is a clear indication the agency continues to lack ethnic and gender diversity, cultural sensitivity and understanding — […]

Michigan’s Lame Duck action makes news nationwide

By: and - December 7, 2018

Michigan’s Lame Duck session has been a popular topic around the nation. More than a dozen major news outlets, including CNN, NBC and The New York Times, have reported on state GOP lawmakers and their frantic attempt to strip authority and decision-making from incoming Democratic statewide officials. Michigan’s end-of-the-year session also has attracted the attention […]

Michigan part of a growing trend of Lame Duck power grabs

By: - December 7, 2018

Michigan isn’t alone when it comes to frenzied Lame Duck activity. As the legislative session comes to an end, Republicans in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are poised to carry out accelerated, and, in some cases, hyper-partisan and historic votes. In a few states, GOP majorities are exercising power grabs before Democrat executive branch officials […]

Michigan Senate swiftly passes campaign finance bills before new SOS takes office

By: - December 6, 2018

The GOP-led Michigan Senate today passed a set of bills stripping campaign finance oversight from Democrat Jocelyn Benson, the incoming secretary of state. The package, Senate Bills 1248, 1249, 1250, 1251 and 1252, were adopted mainly along party lines. The lead bill, SB 1248 sponsored by term-limited Sen. Dave Robertson (R-Grand Blanc), would shift campaign […]

Unions fight GOP effort to seize power over schools

By: - December 5, 2018

As the frenzied-pace Lame Duck session continues, state GOP lawmakers are looking to maximize their power and influence over schools before Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is sworn in. But teacher unions are fighting back.

A meeting on third-grade reading standards

Detroit groups work to prepare kids for new 3rd grade reading law

By: - December 5, 2018

Fewer than half of Michigan third-graders earned a proficient score or higher on the English language arts test, according to results from the 2018 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, better known as M-STEP.

Former lawmaker leading economic opportunity nonprofit slams GOP-led Lame Duck assault

By: - December 5, 2018

A former longtime state lawmaker who now leads a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity is dismayed by the frenetic Lame Duck session.

Fish out of water: ‘Soapy’ Williams was an environmentalist before it was cool

By: - December 4, 2018

G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams, the lanky, bow-tied, Michigan governor of the late 1940s and 1950s, is generally remembered as a progressive who supported civil rights and fought for the “little guy.”

Legendary civil rights lawyer Dean Robb dies

By: - December 4, 2018

Dean Robb, the Michigan attorney who filed suit against the FBI after civil rights activists were murdered by Ku Klux Klan members in the 1960s, died on Sunday at age 94. The Traverse City resident earned a law degree from Wayne State University in 1949. Robb made history, both as an activist and as an […]

Blacks took lead as Michigan ‘freed the weed’

By: - December 4, 2018

“I think it’s a tremendous victory that we freed the weed, as I like to say, or legalize marijuana in a time when African-Americans are four times more likely to be convicted of marijuana."

Indivisible activists fired up to fight GOP in Lame Duck

By: - December 4, 2018

Indivisible groups, which propelled Democrats to victories in key races across Michigan last month, are now firing up to fight the GOP legislation in Lame Duck.