Race Equity

On this day in 1967: First African American becomes Michigan state trooper

BY: - August 18, 2021

On Aug. 18, 1967, Jack Hall was sworn in as a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper. He was the first African American to serve in that capacity.  MSP was founded in 1917.  Prior to his service as a trooper, Hall had been a Benton Harbor police officer for five years and had completed one year […]

On this day in 1889: Pioneering Black lawmaker pushes back against racism

BY: - August 15, 2021

On Aug. 15, 1889, William Ferguson, an African-American man, entered a Detroit restaurant managed by Edward Gies, a white man. After being seated, Ferguson was told by a waiter: “I can’t wait on you here.” Ferguson, who in 1869 became the first Black child to attend the Detroit Public Schools and owned a printing company, […]

Pain and resilience: The legacy of Native American boarding schools in Michigan

BY: - August 14, 2021

Updated, 12:45 p.m., 8/19/21 In May, a horrific discovery in British Columbia caught the world’s attention: The unmarked gravesites of hundreds of Indigenous children, buried near the boarding school they were forced to attend by their government and the Catholic Church in a mass effort to assimilate them into white culture. Since then, over 1,300 […]

Detroiters celebrate Black Bottom historical marker 

BY: - August 9, 2021

Harold McLemore, 93, grew up in the community known as Black Bottom and told the Advance he was pleased to see a Michigan Historical Marker finally placed at the legendary site. “I feel good,” said McLemore, pointing to where his childhood home, 1236 Rivard Street, once sat only a few hundred feet away.  A few […]

House Dems document U.S. history of discrimination in shaping John Lewis voting rights bill

BY: - August 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — A House panel released a new report on Friday that will help lawmakers craft  legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that aims to protect voting rights across the United States. The 124-page report, put forth by the House subcommittee on elections, outlines the U.S. history of discrimination in voting and […]

Report: Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program

BY: - August 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years — and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. On a call with reporters Wednesday, policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlined how […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: We’ve made strides in school funding, but more must be done

BY: - August 4, 2021

A few weeks ago, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan School Aid budget bill, the largest in history, that takes important steps toward fully funding our pre-K-12 public schools. As I remarked at the governor’s press conference, this is what happens when Democrats and Republicans come together in support of our children. As it stands, […]

On this day in 1999: Pioneering Black radio personality Van Douglas dies

BY: - July 30, 2021

Van Douglas, Detroit’s first Black radio star, died at age 84 on July 30, 1999. The native Virginian and Wayne State University graduate enjoyed a pioneering broadcast career that spanned for more than 50 years. Douglas, born Howard Douglas Morison on May 6, 1915, worked as an announcer on WMBC-AM 1400 beginning in 1937 on […]

COMMENTARY

Column: Faith leaders in Michigan are ready for climate action

BY: - July 29, 2021

Even as we turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, a feat that President Joe Biden himself came to Michigan over the Fourth of July weekend to celebrate, many in our state still find our faith challenged by the ongoing climate crisis. Severe flooding trapped drivers in Detroit and prompted emergency rescues last month, while other parts […]

Detroit City Council approves reparations measure, but challenges lie ahead

BY: - July 22, 2021

Black Detroiters moved a step closer to receiving long-awaited reparations for systemic racial discrimination, but the historic measure still faces legal and funding uncertainties. The Detroit City Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday that would give residents the opportunity to vote on whether the city should “establish a Reparations Committee to make recommendations for housing […]

State police data: More than 1/5 of traffic stops involve Black motorists

BY: - July 16, 2021

More than one in every five — 21.5% — of Michigan State Police (MSP) traffic stops in 2020 involved Black motorists — a percentage significantly higher than the African-American population in Michigan that stands at about 14%.   State Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), executive vice chair of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, was disturbed after reviewing […]

A federal investigation seeks to uncover the painful history of Native American boarding schools

BY: - July 11, 2021

WASHINGTON —The Native American children travelled on trains, thousands of miles from their homes, to Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many had been forcibly taken from their parents and communities. Once there, they had to hand over their belongings, put on uniforms, cut off their braids, adopt new […]