Sat, 02/14/2015 - 3:08pm by valerieclaires
The best way to celebrate and honor Black History Month is to delve into history. What better place to do that than the Library?
This February, AADL has several events and resources to help you mark Black History Month by honoring those who came before, their traditions, and our hopes for the future.
April Ryan, a 30-year journalism veteran, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House has just released a new book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of race relations as it relates to the White House. She will be at the Downtown Library on Monday, February 16 at 7 pm to discuss the book, her career, the three presidents she’s covered, and her experiences.
The Sankofa Ensemble takes their name from a word that means “to retrieve the goodness from the past”. They will teach us about the traditions of Ghanaian and West African music and play authentic instruments from Ghana. Families will especially enjoy being able to get up and dance to the music, and learning more about traditional African dancing. The Sankofa Ensemble will perform on Saturday, February 21 at 2 pm in the Downtown Library’s Multi-Purpose Room.
The last very special Black History Month event features the relatives of a prominent Civil Rights figure: Rosa Parks. Sheila McCauley Keys is Rosa Parks’ niece, and she and her siblings grew up very closely with their aunt when she moved to Detroit. They have recently released a new book of memories of their aunt, Our Auntie Rosa: the Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons, and Sheila will visit the Downtown Library on Tuesday, February 24 at 7 pm. She will talk about her new book and her Auntie Rosa, and she will take questions from the audience.
Of course, libraries are fantastic resources for more than just events. Here at AADL, we have the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County’s Living Oral History Videos. These are recorded interviews with local African-Americans discussing what they witnessed and experienced and their perspectives relating to race, gender, education, equality, faith, housing, employment, community building activities, and social infrastructure in our area. These amazing videos show what a historical resource our own people are, and make learning about history as easy as a conversation with your grandparents.
Newspapers are also great historical resources. AADL has digitized copies of local abolitionist newspaper Signal of Liberty which was started in April 1841 and published almost every week from an office on Broadway Street in Ann Arbor. Issues featured local and national news, anti-slavery poems, interviews with emancipated slaves, minutes from anti-slavery meetings, and stories by abolitionists about helping people escape from slavery. Reading these articles helps us to understand issues surrounding slavery, why people opposed this dark part of our past, and how ordinary people participated in the fight for freedom.
Whatever part of history you are interested in, your library is a resource for research, learning, and commemorating.
Mon, 02/09/2015 - 12:36pm by oldnews
Dating back to the Underground Railroad, Ann Arbor boasts a rich and vibrant history for African-Americans. A wonderful piece about this time in Ann Arbor’s history is written by Grace Shackman and can be found here.
There are many African-Americans that created their own piece of history in Ann Arbor. For instance, you can read about Ann Arbor’s first African-American mayor, Albert H. Wheeler, first African-American teacher and later principal at Northside Elementary, Harry Mial and his wife, Joetta Mial, Huron High School's first female African-American principal.
O.Herbert Ellis, who passed away last year is notable for being the first African-American to serve on and to chair the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. You can read more history and the individuals that created it here.
Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:30am by amy
In the days following the assassination, Ann Arbor held a memorial at Hill Auditorium and Ann Arbor News photographers snapped dozens of photos of townies and students participating in marches and peaceful demonstrations. Here they are, for the first time, from the Oldnews archive.
Fri, 11/21/2014 - 2:34pm by aadl staff
Did you know the first movie theatre in Ann Arbor was built on Main Street?
Have you ever wondered how Ann Arbor got its name? Did you know the University of Michigan began its tradition in Detroit? Are you curious about Ann Arbor's activism roots? Or maybe you want to know about the history behind the arts, music, and culture in your city.
You can find out all of these facts and more on AADL's Ford Gallery of Ann Arbor Founders.
Fri, 10/31/2014 - 10:51am by amy
Don’t look now, Ann Arbor, but just in time for Halloween, we’ve unearthed a few frightening photos from our Oldnews vault.
In 1945, a pirate, some clowns and...a singing cornstalk(?) took over the former WPAG radio station at Main and Liberty, and in 1952 Ann Arbor Civic Theatre conjured up this disturbing scene during its production of The Spider.
We've also exhumed ample evidence that witches, goblins and other monster mites haunted the Burns Park neighborhood in 1951 and 1952. Similar creatures appear in a 1957 JCC Halloween Parade. And in 1964, this vampire stalked Art Fair booths.
So click if you dare, Ann Arbor. You can browse all things Halloween or search the past at Oldnews - your gateway to Ann Arbor's hair-raising history.
Tue, 10/28/2014 - 2:41pm by amy
In honor of Dr. Jonas Salk's 100th birthday, we've just posted a few photographs and articles from our archives celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Jonas Salk, the American medical researcher and virologist who spent time at the University of Michigan doing critical research on the influenza virus before inventing the first successful polio vaccine.
On April 12, 1955, the vaccine was declared to be safe and effective and within weeks was being shipped around the world.
Thu, 10/09/2014 - 8:30am by Debbie G.
Long, long ago in a galaxy known as the '60s, Ann Arbor's first head shop, Middle Earth , opened in a 2nd floor walkup on Liberty Street and then moved to its iconic location on South U.
Owner Cynthia Shevel sat down with Old News last year to talk about the history of Middle Earth, how it changed over the years and the challenges independent shops face in Tree Town.
Cynthia announced the closing of Middle Earth yesterday saying that with the closing of the Selo/Shevel Gallery a few months back, she and longtime partner Elaine Selo will begin a new phase of their lives.
Mon, 10/06/2014 - 3:57pm by amy
The owners of one of Ann Arbor's signature stores, Falling Water Books & Collectibles, just announced they will be closing after 26 years. Here's a 1988 article and photograph (left) from the store's grand opening in July of that year. Falling Water was first located at 318 S. Ashley St., and later moved to Main St.
Mon, 09/29/2014 - 7:54am by Debbie G.
On a cold and windy October 9, 1964, a small group of speakers and community members gathered in front of the new senior citizen apartment high-rise, Lurie Terrace, to celebrate its completion. No one was more instrumental in bringing Lurie Terrace to completion than Shata Ling. Mrs. Ling founded the Ann Arbor Senior Citizens Guild in 1956 and worked tirelessly on behalf of seniors throughout her active career in Ann Arbor. Lurie Terrace was named in honor of Mrs. Ling's mother, Ann Przzan Lurie.
Lurie was one of the first affordable senior housing projects proposed in the U.S. In 1961 a site on W. Huron was selected and demolition of four homes began. Bricks from the Lorin Mills House were used to construct the patio at Lurie. Designed by local architect James H. Livingston the building featured twin Pentagon towers. The first resident to sign a lease at Lurie Terrace came from a family with a long history in Ann Arbor, Pearl McOmber.
Lurie was not without controversy and in February, 1982, three years after a woman was denied admission because she was handicapped, the Michigan Court of Appeals struck down Lurie's residency requirements that prohibited handicapped persons. Over the years, Lurie developed programs and social events that aimed at expanding horizons of all seniors in their community of apartments. Happy Birthday Lurie Terrace!