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.

Barrier breaker: When Wharton was named MSU president

By: - January 2, 2019

Clifford Wharton Jr. officially assumed the presidency of Michigan State University on this day in 1970. He was the first African-American to lead a major American university. The Boston, Mass., native, who entered Harvard University at age 16, also became the first Black man to earn a master’s degree in international affairs from the Paul […]

Gilchrist: ‘Exciting and humbling’ to be Michigan’s first African-American LG

By: - December 28, 2018

On Jan. 1, Garlin Gilchrist II will make history when he is sworn as Michigan’s first African-American lieutenant governor. Gilchrist spoke with the Michigan Advance this morning in one of his first in-depth interviews since the Nov. 6 election and said his history-making role is both an “exciting and humbling opportunity.” The 36-year-old Detroit native […]

In final days, Snyder issues LGBTQ rights executive directive

By: and - December 28, 2018

Gov. Rick Snyder, who leaves office next week, announced today he signed an executive directive instructing all state agencies and departments not to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity in procurement, grant and loan programs. “Michigan’s continued reinvention and economic growth depend on talented individuals choosing to live and work here,” said Snyder, […]

Snyder signs almost 50 more bills into law

By: - December 28, 2018

As term-limited Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder prepares to leave office next week, he signed several dozen bills today that arrived on his desk during the frenzied legislative Lame Duck session. One of the bills makes cyberbullying a crime, House Bill 5017, sponsored by state Rep. Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.). The bill is now Public Act […]

Black caucus official blasts Whitmer’s pick to head state police

By: - December 27, 2018

A leading critic of the Michigan State Police has given Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer’s choice to head the agency a thumbs-down. Whitmer has tapped Captain Joe Gasper, a white male, to lead Michigan State Police (MSP). Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) told the Advance she is “very disappointed.” “Many African-Americans took a chance pushing for historic change,” […]

On this day: Moderate Republican vetoes Democratic-led abortion bill

By: - December 27, 2018

It was a different time, to be sure.   On this day in 1978, Michigan Gov. William Milliken vetoed a bill to ban state-funded abortions. “This bill effectively would deny poor women of this state the same opportunity to exercise the same legal rights as other members of society,” the Traverse City Republican said at […]

Updated: $1.3B budget supplementals shoot to governor

By: - December 21, 2018

Updated, 8:10 a.m. Dec. 21 In the wee hours of the morning, the Michigan House voted in bipartisan fashion on supplemental budget spending totaling more than $1.3 billion. The Senate gave its final stamp of approval, sending bills to Gov. Rick Snyder. The legislation includes funding for PFAS cleanup, the Soo Locks and school districts […]

Updated: Snyder to decide on deregulating wetlands

By: and - December 21, 2018

Gov. Rick Snyder will now decide on a plan to deregulate some small wetlands that could be filled and dredged after the Legislature approved the bill during a marathon session stretching into early Friday morning. But the bill was dramatically scaled back in the version the Michigan House voted on late into the last Lame Duck session […]

Snyder expected to OK tax shift for schools, roads, environmental cleanup

By: - December 21, 2018

After a day of dealmaking, Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign a budget supplemental that will shift revenue from the School Aid Fund (SAF) to carry out road repairs and environmental cleanups. House Bill 4991, sponsored by state Rep. Ed Canfield (R-Sebewaing), passed the Michigan House early this morning in a close 56-51 vote. […]

Bill naming part of M-10 for Detroit educator awaits Snyder’s pen

By: - December 21, 2018

A bill that would rename a portion of the John C. Lodge Freeway (M-10) in Detroit after legendary educator Violet T. Lewis overwhelmingly cleared the Michigan House on Thursday. The vote was 101-8 and the bill now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk. The Advance reported that Senate Bill 1137, sponsored by state Sen. Ian […]

Snyder signs bill allowing non-certified teachers in classrooms

By: and - December 21, 2018

Gov. Rick Snyder earlier today signed a bill that will allow those with professional career expertise to substitute teach in grades 9-12 without a teaching certificate. “This legislation will help schools fill teacher shortages in programs that offer high-demand career skills so that our students can be prepared for a 21st century economy,” said Snyder, […]

Senate shifts $200M from schools for roads, environmental cleanup

By: - December 20, 2018

Updated, 7:20 p.m. The Michigan Senate today passed legislation that would divert sales tax dollars that traditionally go to the School Aid Fund (SAF) to fix roads and do environmental cleanups. The House is expected to take action on what is supposed to be the last day of legislative action in Lansing. After the vote, […]