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Boblo Boats and the Story of Sarah E. Ray


Saturday July 27, 2024: 2:00pm to 3:30pm  Add to Calendar /   Add to Google Calendar


Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room


Many Detroiters fondly remember Boblo Island, yet few remember that the amusement park and its ferries were once segregated. Peel back the layers of nostalgia to hear the story of Sarah Elizabeth Ray, the African American woman whose 1945 court case challenged discrimination on the Boblo Boat. When she won before the U.S. Supreme Court, hers became one of many test cases that paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), and the end to legal segregation in America.

Join Aaron Schillinger as he presents the Sarah E. Ray Project and selections from his feature documentary, Boblo Boats: A Detroit Ferry Tale.

BIO: Aaron Schillinger is an award-winning filmmaker whose directorial debut is Boblo Boats: A Detroit Ferry Tale (2022). The documentary, which the Detroit Metrotimes called “a magical mystery boat ride of a film,” is narrated by Motown Legend Martha Reeves. The film is distributed by PBS and was released theatrically across the Great Lakes region. Aaron is also cofounder of the Sarah E. Ray Project, an organization shining a light on the forgotten story of a Detroit civil rights pioneer. Aaron graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in Ferndale, Michigan, with his wife and an ornery macaw named Sinbad.

Aaron will have Boblo Island momentos on display as well as DVDs, souvenir t-shirts, and coloring books for purchase. 

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