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.

Jury finds McMichaels, Bryan guilty of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder

By: and - November 24, 2021

A nearly all-white jury in a Glynn County courtroom Wednesday afternoon convicted three white men of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery as the 25-year-old Black jogger ran through their neighborhood in February 2020. Travis McMichael, seen all over the world in a viral video that shows him firing a shotgun into Arbery at close range, […]

Black parents push back against right-wing attacks on ‘critical race theory’

By: - November 20, 2021

Danielle Atkinson recalls being outraged after learning about an incident that took place five years ago at Royal Oak Middle School located in suburban Detroit.   It occurred the day after former President Donald Trump’s win in November 2016. A group of Latino children were eating when white students began chanting at them, “Build the wall,” […]

For Black Michiganders, infrastructure bill brings hope for change

By: - November 11, 2021

The recently passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure legislation has big implications for racial equity in Michigan, Black leaders said this week. Lavora Barnes, the Michigan Democratic Party chair, said this “once-in-a-generation investment in good paying jobs, infrastructure, and broadband Internet access will support folks from Houghton to Detroit.” “In 2020, Black voters in Wayne County, Oakland […]

On this day in 1969: ‘Sesame Street’ debuts with Paw Paw native in the cast

By: - November 10, 2021

On Nov. 10, 1969 the children’s series “Sesame Street” premiered on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). One of the “Sesame Street” characters, Susan Robinson, was played by Paw Paw, Michigan-born educator Loretta Long. It came at a time when Black and Brown civic and political leadership and grassroots parents were fighting for more equity and […]

In Dearborn, Congressional Dems highlight Build Back Better Act’s early childhood investments

By: - November 9, 2021

A group of U.S. House Democrats toured Wayne Metro Community Action Agency’s Early Head Start Program in Dearborn on Monday and highlighted the importance of critical early childhood investments included in the President Joe Biden-led Build Back Better Act. “It’s always a refreshing day when you spend time with children,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell […]

Thanedar eyes Tlaib’s U.S. House seat

By: - November 8, 2021

State Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) said on Monday that he is forming an exploratory committee to consider a run for the U.S. House seat currently held by U.S. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit).   “Working for the people of Michigan in the State House is an honor and privilege. This work has strengthened my desire for public service […]

Hamtramck makes history with Muslim mayor and City Council

By: - November 5, 2021

Updated, 11:21 a.m., 11/5/21 In an historic fashion, Hamtramck voters elected their first non-Polish mayor this week. Yemeni immigrant Amer Ghalib, 41, will lead the city. The registered nurse who is Muslim and working toward becoming a medical doctor, defeated Karen Majewski, 66, a 16-year incumbent. Ghalib secured 68% of the vote and said on […]

Barbara-Rose Collins, the 1st Michigan Black woman to serve in Congress, dies at 82

By: - November 5, 2021

Barbara-Rose Collins, the first Black woman to serve Michigan on Capitol Hill and a fixture in local, state and national politics for a half-century, has died at age 82, her family confirmed Thursday.  Collins died of coronavirus complications. She had been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to her son, Christopher Collins, but had other health issues.  […]

On this day in 1930: Charles Roxborough becomes Michigan’s first Black state senator

By: - November 4, 2021

On Nov. 4, 1930, Charles Roxborough of Detroit was elected to the Michigan Senate. The Republican became the first African American to serve in the state Legislature’s upper chamber. His father, also named Charles, moved his family to Detroit in 1899 from New Orleans, La. where he had been active in GOP politics.  Detroit’s Black […]

Detroit reparations measure wins, Duggan earns 3rd term

By: - November 3, 2021

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Tuesday scored a third term, the state’s first Latinx out LGBTQ woman was elected to Detroit City Council and a reparations proposal was approved by voters in Michigan’s largest city.  In 3-to-1 fashion, Duggan defeated challenger Anthony Adams, who was deputy mayor during the Kwame Kilpatrick administration and also served […]

‘Developing partnerships is important now more than ever’

By: - October 29, 2021

State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy), the Michigan Legislature’s first Indian immigrant and Hindu lawmaker, believes that partnerships are the way to create good public policy.   Kuppa, who is serving a second term in the GOP-led state House, represents a swing seat in Troy and Clawson, two metro Detroit suburbs. She told the Advance on Wednesday […]

Michigan Democrats, parents call for Child Tax Credit extension

By: - October 27, 2021

At virtual roundtable with parents on Wednesday organized by the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP), parents called on Capitol Hill lawmakers to extend the federal Child Tax Credit, which affects 1.9 million Michigan children.  Christie Donn is a mother of two from Redford whose family receives the tax credit. “The Child Tax Credit payments that we […]