Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman writes about Southeast Michigan, history 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.

Advocates make the case for an EITC hike before the State of the State address

By: - January 25, 2023

During a virtual town hall, the head of the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) on Wednesday said that legislation increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a chief priority for her organization and she is hopeful that it will have bipartisan support.  “This tax credit will specifically target and help individuals in our […]

Roe v. Wade at 50: A look back at the fight for abortion rights in Michigan and nationwide

By: - January 22, 2023

On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision ruled that the U.S. Constitution supports the right to have an abortion.  The case, Jane Roe v. Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas, would come to be known as a landmark decision. The plaintiff’s name was a pseudonym Norma Leah Nelson […]

Michigan AFL-CIO: MLK said Right to Work laws destroy unions, hurt ability to improve wages

By: - January 18, 2023

The Michigan AFL-CIO on Tuesday continued its call for a repeal of the state’s Right to Work legislation.  “The teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remain at the forefront of our work, and Michigan’s labor movement reminded state legislators of his pro-worker message yesterday,” said Ron Bieber, Michigan AFL-CIO president. “Dr. King’s message was […]

MLK’s historic Detroit Walk to Freedom march is remembered 60 years later 

By: - January 16, 2023

On June 23, 1963, more than 125,000 people marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. down Woodward Avenue in Detroit in an effort to promote civil rights.  Participants included funeral home owner Benjamin McFall; activist and real estate broker James Del Rio (who later served as a state House member); the Rev. C.L. Franklin, pastor […]

On this day in 1977: Gov. Milliken signs the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act 

By: - January 13, 2023

On Jan. 13, 1977 Gov. William Milliken signed into law the seminal Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. It went into effect on March 31, 1977.  The bill package at the time was regarded by many as the leading statute of its type in America. It prohibited discriminatory practices, policies, and customs. It also prescribed additional powers […]

Activists: Bernstein should ‘repent’ for slamming fellow justice for hiring a returning citizen

By: - January 12, 2023

A group of activists representing returning citizens and other community organizations on Thursday held a news conference in Southfield where they called for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein to continue to “make amends” for his recent comments regarding his colleague, Justice Kyra Harris Bolden, hiring a returning citizen.  “[Bernstein] and his family are not […]

On this day in 1835: Michigan leader calls a constitutional convention

By: - January 12, 2023

On Jan. 12, 1835, Stevens T. Mason, Michigan territorial governor, called for a constitutional convention. The 24-year-old had been appointed by President Andrew Jackson to serve as secretary of the Michigan Territory four years earlier.  Mason’s request came two years before Michigan was admitted into the union. Held in Detroit, 91 delegates attended the convention […]

On this day in 2011: Detroit community leader Bernadine Newsom Denning dies

By: - January 11, 2023

On Jan. 11, 2011, Bernadine Newsom Denning, longtime Detroit resident and community leader, died at age 80. She was living in Port St. Lucie, Fla., at the time of her death.  Over the course of five decades, Denning earned a distinguished record as an educator, civil rights leader, and advocate for women.  In 1951, she […]

Clement to serve as state Supreme Court chief justice

By: - January 5, 2023

Elizabeth Clement will continue to serve as Michigan Supreme Court chief justice after a unanimous vote by the seven-member body. The GOP-nominated member has taken over for Justice Bridget McCormack, a Democratic-nominated member who retired in December. “I am honored to have been chosen unanimously by my colleagues to serve as Chief Justice of the […]

On this day in 1976: Phil Hart, the ‘Conscience of the U.S. Senate,’ dies at 64

By: - December 26, 2022

On Dec. 26, 1976, Philip Aloysius Hart, Michigan’s senior U.S. senator, died of cancer at 64. Hart, who was first elected to the seat in 1958, had decided not seek reelection in 1976 after his condition worsened.   The Democrat was known as the “Conscience of the Senate” because of his principled stance on several issues […]

On this day in 1972: State Sen. Coleman A. Young announces Detroit mayoral bid  

By: - December 15, 2022

On Dec. 15, 1972, state Sen. Coleman A. Young (D-Detroit) announced that he would run for Motor City mayor. The Democratic National Committee member would later be elected to the post in 1973, becoming the first African American to serve in city history. At the time, Detroit was the nation’s fifth largest city in population.   […]

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks pledges to listen, learn from all lawmakers

By: - December 14, 2022

Updated, 10:49 a.m., 12/14/22 Sen. Winnie Brinks, the incoming Michigan Senate majority leader and first woman to hold the post, intends to bring a different style to the job when the 102nd legislative session begins in January — a willingness to listen and learn from all of her colleagues.   “You’ve seen a lot of leaders […]