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.

Environmental groups reach settlement on Detroit incinerator 

By: - December 17, 2021

Two environmental organizations that had planned to sue Detroit Renewable Power after air emissions violations at a city incinerator said they have reached a $10,000 settlement agreement with Detroit Renewable Power (DRP).  Ecology Center and Environment Michigan informed DRP in January 2019 of their intention to file a suit under the federal Clean Air Act. […]

Duggan: U.S. Census effort in Detroit was ‘malpractice’

By: - December 17, 2021

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan argued Thursday that the 2020 U.S. Census has undercounted Detroit’s population by 8% in some city neighborhoods. “This was malpractice by the Census Bureau,” said Duggan who worked as population counter in 1980 for the agency when he was a student at the University of Michigan. “This was not an honest […]

Ison makes Michigan history as first Black woman to serve as U.S. attorney

By: - December 16, 2021

In bipartisan fashion, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Dawn Ison to serve as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.  The Farmington Hills resident is the first African-American woman to serve in the post.  “Dawn Ison’s confirmation is great news for Michigan. I’m confident in her ability to serve the […]

On this day in 2009: Detroit’s first African-American City Council president dies

By: - December 14, 2021

On Dec.14, 2009, Erma Henderson, the first African American to serve as City Council president, died at age 92.  Henderson was elected to the city’s nine-member legislative body in a special election in 1972 to replace Robert Tindal, who died the previous year. She also was the first Black person to serve on the body […]

On this day in 1961: Ike addresses civil rights, term limits during Michigan visit 

By: - December 13, 2021

On Dec. 13, 1961, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the Michigan Constitutional Convention in Lansing and spoke about several topics, including civil rights and term limits. The noted World War II military general and GOP two-term president offered 20 minutes of remarks and took 40 minutes of questions from convention delegates. “So I hope […]

On this day in 1971: Ann Arbor rally held for ‘political prisoner’ John Sinclair 

By: - December 10, 2021

For John Sinclair, the Dec. 10, 1971, rally to support his release from state prison was a seminal event in his life.  It was there that an enthusiastic crowd of more than 15,000 packed Crisler Arena on the University of Michigan campus to protest his conviction for marijuana possession. For months, people had been chanting […]

On this day in 1823: Gabriel Richard becomes first Roman Catholic priest to serve in Congress 

By: - December 8, 2021

On Dec. 8, 1823, Michigan territorial representative Father Gabriel Richard became the first Roman Catholic priest to serve in Congress. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Richard was a non-voting delegate to the body for a single two-year term. He was born on Oct. 15, 1767, at Saintonge in southwestern France and arrived […]

On this day in 1965: KKK members are convicted of killing civil rights activist

By: - December 3, 2021

On Dec. 3, 1965, an all-white jury in Alabama convicted three Ku Klux Klansmen in the murder of white civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, a Detroit activist, mother and part-time Wayne State University student. The incident came at a time when America was coming to grips with deep-seeded racial inequities in education and housing. It […]

Coalition calls for Michigan businesses to stop funding voter suppression

By: - December 2, 2021

The Defend Black Voters Coalition on Thursday in Detroit called on Michigan companies to cut off funding to legislators who support what they described as “voter suppression legislation.”  “These businesses have made statements supporting Black Lives Matter or opposing voter suppression,” said Jennifer Disla, Detroit Action co-executive director and Defend Black Voters Coalition co-chair. “Yet, […]

On this day in 1922: Charles Diggs Jr., Michigan’s first Black U.S. House member, is born

By: - December 2, 2021

On Dec. 2, 1922, civil rights champion Charles Diggs, Jr. was born in Detroit.  Diggs holds the distinction of being the first African American in Michigan history to be elected to the U.S. Congress. At age 31, he joined fellow Black Democrats William Dawson of Chicago and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. of New York City […]

On this day in 1987: Blanchard and Young help unveil Motown historical marker

By: - December 1, 2021

On Dec. 1, 1987, Michigan Gov. James Blanchard and Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, along with Motown recording artists Smokey Robinson and Eddie Kendricks, attended a ceremony to support the dedication of the Motown Historical Museum in Detroit. The event featured the unveiling of a Michigan Historical Marker at the site. In 1959, armed with […]

On this day in 1917: Civil rights legend Daisy Elliott was born

By: - November 26, 2021

On Nov. 26, 1917, Daisy Elliott was born in Filbert, W.V. The Democrat would go on to co-sponsor seminal civil rights legislation in Michigan. Like many, she later moved to Detroit during the Great Migration, a period between 1914 and 1950 when African Americans from the South moved to the Motor City seeking improved employment […]