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.

Detroit to get $30M skills trade training center

By: - March 5, 2019

The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCCM) and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Monday plans to build a new 120,000 square foot training center on Detroit’s west side. The $30 million facility will consolidate all its administrative and training operations in Southeast Michigan under one roof. The site is the old Tappan […]

On this day in 1968: Young becomes Senate Dems’ first Black floor leader

By: - March 5, 2019

Michigan Senate Democrats on March 5, 1968, selected Coleman A. Young of Detroit as their floor leader. The 49-year-old Young replaced Sandy Levin, who was voted in January chair of the Democratic State Central Committee in January, the Lansing State Journal reported. Levin would eventually serve as Sente minority leader. Young was the first African-American […]

Michigan 2020 budget cheat sheet: What to know before Whitmer’s presentation

By: and - March 5, 2019

Before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer embarked on the Hamtramck Paczki Run on Saturday, she took a minute to address her next big challenge: presenting her first budget on Tuesday. “I will be introducing it and I will have my budget director [Chris Kolb] with me,” she told the Advance. “He’ll do part of it and I’ll […]

How past Michigan governors handled budget fights — and what to expect from Whitmer

By: and - March 5, 2019

For former Gov. Rick Snyder, who ran as a self-described nerd, budget presentations were like Christmas morning. Unlike other governors, the Republican personally presented all eight of his budgets. Gov. Jennifer Granholm, his predecessor, delivered her first and last budgets, but typically budget directors have been tasked with that duty. “I think that for [Snyder] […]

Report: School funding and clean water top Michiganders’ concerns

By: - March 4, 2019

Ryan Jackson will be watching what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposes in her first budget on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Detroit resident says that Michigan’s crumbling roads are a big problem for her. “I travel to work every day and that is a pain,” she told the Advance. “It’s always the anxiety of: Am I going to […]

On this day in 1926: Billionaire Richard DeVos Sr. born

By: - March 4, 2019

Richard DeVos Sr. was on born on March 4, 1926, in Grand Rapids. DeVos attended Calvin College and was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He served in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corps. DeVos became a billionaire businessman, co-founder of Amway with Jay Van Andel and owner of the […]

On this day in 1960: ‘Soapy’ declines to run for re-election

By: - March 3, 2019

G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams on March 3, 1960, announced that he would not seek a seventh term as Michigan governor. That was during the era when governors served two-year terms. The Democrat governed with a Republican-led Legislature during his entire 12 years. Born on Feb. 23, 1911, in Detroit, Williams earned the nickname “Soapy” because […]

More women donning judicial robes in Michigan

By: - March 3, 2019

At the start of Women’s History Month, the Michigan Supreme Court is highlighting the progress women have made in the state’s judiciary. Currently, 38 percent of judges statewide are women. This compares to 34 percent in 2017 after the 2016 election. That figure was 21 percent in 1999. In 1979, only 5 percent — 26 judges […]

Whitmer will continue Snyder’s omnibus budget process

By: and - March 3, 2019

In her first State of the State address last month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sought to distinguish herself from her predecessor, Republican Rick Snyder, by arguing that Michigan has to “act boldly and swiftly” and invest in schools and infrastructure. But there was one area in which she praised Snyder: the budget process. The Democrat threw […]

Slideshow: Whitmer, Gilchrist at Hamtramck Paczki Run

By: - March 2, 2019

On Saturday morning, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist joined the annual Hamtramck Paczki Run. Gilchrist, a University of Michigan alum, was decked in Michigan State University gear after Whitmer’s Spartans defeated his Wolverines in basketball.

On this day in 1999: Pioneering African-American female judge honored

By: - March 2, 2019

The Michigan House of Representatives on March 2, 1999, adopted a resolution honoring Claudia House Morcom, one of the state’s leading lawyers and retired judge. Morcom, a Detroit native, earned a degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1956. In 1960, Morcom became the first African-American woman to work at the nation’s first racially […]

On this day in 1961: JFK launches Peace Corps after U of M speech

By: - March 1, 2019

President John Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. He first proposed the idea at a University of Michigan during a 1960 campaign stop. “How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana?” Kennedy asked students on the steps of the Michigan Union on […]