History

Frederick Douglass: What to the slave is the Fourth of July?

BY: - July 4, 2021

Editor’s note: In February 2017, while marking African American History Month, former President Donald Trump praised Frederick Douglass as “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.” Below are some excerpts from a speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July delivered by Douglass in Rochester, […]

On this day in 1831: Blackburn slaves escape for freedom

BY: - July 3, 2021

On July 3, 1831, Thornton and Lucie Blackburn, Black slaves, bolted from Louisville, Ky., headed for freedom. The couple would arrive nearly 360 miles North in Detroit several weeks later. During their stay in the Motor City, the Blackburns became immersed in the free state of Michigan. That is, until Kentucky authorities trekked North and […]

COMMENTARY

Jeff Timmer: Republicans threaten the ‘Chimes of Freedom’

BY: - July 3, 2021

Far between sundown’s finish An’ midnights broken toll We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing As majestic bells of bolts Struck shadows in the sound Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight An’ for […]

2 Michigan Republicans vote against scuttling Confederate statues

BY: - June 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Tuesday to remove from the Capitol a bust of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, a Marylander who wrote the despised Dred Scott decision — as well as evict statues and busts of men who fought for the Confederacy or served in its government. The legislation passed on a vote of […]

On this day in 1958: ‘Soapy’ walks along the Mackinac Bridge

BY: - June 25, 2021

Official dedication ceremonies for the newly built Mackinac Bridge began on June 25, 1958. The occasion featured a walk across the five-mile suspension structure led by Gov. G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams, the liberal Democrat who served from 1949 to 1961. At that time, Michigan governors served as many two-year terms as voters were willing to […]

COMMENTARY

Column: What, to the Republican, is the nineteenth of June?

BY: - June 19, 2021

The headline above pays homage to one of the most powerful and brilliant speeches in American history. Frederick Douglass, the 19th century’s most eloquent abolitionist, was asked to speak at an Independence Day celebration in Rochester, New York, on July 5, 1852, and he asked his White audience a most provocative question: “What, to the […]

Teachers come under pressure as politicians, parents battle over ‘critical race theory’

BY: - June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—Teachers from Tennessee to Iowa are swept up in a wave of outrage led by GOP politicians nationwide over how schools teach kids about race in U.S. history. Conservatives have pilloried much instruction about systemic racism as “critical race theory,” even when that academic term has never been mentioned. A half dozen states have already […]

COMMENTARY

Column: White Americans can handle the truth about the nation’s history

BY: - June 4, 2021

When Europeans first came to the Americas in the middle of the last millennium, scholars estimate that there were roughly 60 million Indigenous people here. And while the actions and motivations of those who immigrated to this hemisphere obviously ran the gamut, there is simply no denying that the impact on the Native population was […]

Michigan’s AG marks LGBTQ Pride Month with irreverent email

BY: - June 4, 2021

In a fundraising email Wednesday, Attorney General Dana Nessel reminded her supporters that she is gay right in the subject line. “[Name,] I’m gay,” wrote Nessel. The email came during the first week of LGBTQ Pride Month, which was recognized for the first time in Michigan’s history in the Senate on Thursday. Nessel, a Democrat […]

Michigan Democratic Black Caucus starts Detroit petition drive for reparations

BY: - June 2, 2021

The Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Black Caucus has launched a petition drive for reparations for African Americans — an issue debated for more than a century in America — to become a reality. The caucus has started a Detroit initiative called “Yes on Fairness” to get the word out and has placed more than 500 […]

Biden proclaims day of remembrance for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

BY: - June 1, 2021

President Joe Biden on Monday called upon Americans to commemorate the tremendous loss of life and security connected to the terrifying 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre “and commit together to eradicate systemic racism and help to rebuild communities and lives that have been destroyed by it.” The Tulsa proclamation came on the same day as Memorial […]

On this day in 1963: Detroit NAACP calls on city schools to hire more Blacks, support teachers 

BY: - May 28, 2021

On May 28, 1963 the Detroit branch NAACP demanded that the Detroit Board of Education adopt an aggressive plan to increase race integration within the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) staff ranks.  The branch, the largest in the national civil rights organization, also called on the district to hold an election for teacher union representation. The […]