history

On this day in 1958: The Spirit of Detroit statue is formally dedicated

BY: - September 23, 2021

On Sept. 23, 1958, the Spirit of Detroit was formally dedicated. In 1955, visual artist Marshall Fredericks was commissioned by the Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority to create a sculpture for the city to represent hope, progress and the “spirit of man.” The bronze was cast in Oslo, Norway, and covered with acid to oxidize the […]

Dems concerned about ‘chilling effect’ for schools with ‘critical race theory’-style ban

BY: - September 21, 2021

Following a nationwide trend of right-wing furor over how racism is taught in schools, lawmakers on the Michigan House Education Committee on Tuesday traded barbs about race and identity while debating a GOP bill. The legislation is similar to bills introduced by Republicans in several other states that ban “critical race theory” from being taught […]

On this day in 1925: Man killed during mob attack on Black physician’s Detroit home

BY: - September 9, 2021

On Sept. 9, 1925, a white mob attacked the Detroit home of Dr. Ossian Sweet, an African-American physician. The Sweet residence was located in a predominantly white neighborhood on the city’s lower eastside.  Sweet bought the home located at 2905 Garland Street in June of that year for $18,500, about $6,000 more than its fair […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Conservative myths about critical race theory hurt students and teachers

BY: - September 1, 2021

As educators, we believe in teaching kids the truth about our history and society, even when the truth is not pleasant. But some people across the country are working to infringe on teachers’ right and responsibility to be honest with their students about the history or racism, past and present, in our nation. In keeping […]

On this day in 1964: Democratic titans Conyers and Austin square off for U.S. House seat 

BY: - September 1, 2021

On Sept. 1, 1964, John Conyers Jr. edged out Richard Austin in the Democratic Party primary contest for Michigan’s new 1st Congressional District seat. Conyers won the primary 108 votes. The race was so close that Austin requested a recount. After the ballots were tabulated again, Conyers’ margin of victory was a razor-thin 44 votes, […]

On this day in 1967: Gov. George Romney says he was ‘brainwashed’ on Vietnam War

BY: - August 31, 2021

On Aug. 31, 1967, Gov. George Romney of Michigan, a leading contender for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination, told Detroit television talk show host Lou Gordon that he had been subject to “brainwashing” by American generals into supporting the Vietnam war effort while touring southeast Asia in 1965. “When I came back from Vietnam, I […]

On this day in 1971: KKK bombs empty Pontiac buses set to racially integrate schools

BY: - August 30, 2021

On Aug. 30, 1971, 10 idled Pontiac School District buses were destroyed by Ku Klux Klan members. Dynamite was the weapon.   Black- and silver-haired Kevin Davidson, 61, remembers it like yesterday.  He was 11 when his African-American family moved to Pontiac from Detroit 50 years ago. They lived in the newly constructed and predominantly Black […]

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 […]

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 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 […]