On this day in 1952: ‘Scottsboro Boy’ Haywood Patterson dies in Michigan

BY: - August 24, 2021

Haywood Patterson, one of the “Scottsboro Boys” found guilty in a Jim Crow-era criminal trial, died 69 years ago on Aug. 24, 1952. He was 39.  The one-time Detroit resident had been stricken with cancer. Patterson’s life ended while serving a separate manslaughter conviction in Jackson, Mich., prison. Patterson was born in rural Georgia on […]

Nazi salute, insults hurled at chaotic Birmingham schools meeting over mask mandate

BY: - August 20, 2021

Police are investigating a man who flashed a Nazi salute and chanted “Heil Hitler” during a raucous Birmingham Board of Education meeting over a mask mandate for students. Unruly anti-maskers booed and hurled insults at board members and speakers, including a high school student, who spoke in favor of face coverings during the meeting Wednesday […]

On this day in 1954: Ralph Bunche is named to key UN post

BY: - August 19, 2021

On Aug. 19, 1954, Detroit-born Ralph Bunche was named United Nations undersecretary.  Founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, the U.N. was designed to prevent war between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. Bunche, who played a key role in the creation of the organization, was the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

On this day in 1986: Gov. Blanchard declares it ‘Four Tops Day’ in Michigan

BY: - July 29, 2021

On July 29, 1986, then-Michigan Gov. James Blanchard declared it “Four Tops Day.” The Democratic governor, who served between 1983 and 1991, honored the legendary Motown Records vocal quartet who hailed from Detroit and helped to define the sound of the 1960s. “A lot of marriages were made with your music,” said Blanchard during a […]

Here’s what could happen in Michigan if Roe v. Wade is overturned

BY: - July 18, 2021

In 1973, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade granted Americans the constitutional right to access a safe and legal abortion.  But in May, the Supreme Court, which is considered to have the most right-wing tilt in decades, agreed to hear arguments on a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, Dobbs […]

Here’s how democracies die

BY: - July 13, 2021

If you want to know at what point America’s democracy started to die, experts say 2016 seems like a logical point: With nearly a year to go until his term expired, President Barack Obama’s attempt at appointing a Supreme Court justice failed when the Republican-controlled Senate vowed to block any nominee. Steven Levitsky and Daniel […]