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Ann Arbor 200
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Black Women in the Workplace

In this video complied from dozens of interviews from the Living Oral History Project, Black women speak about their experiences working in Washtenaw County, including the various obstacles they had to face in hiring and on the job.

The Living Oral History Project is a partnership between the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor District Library, providing a permanent home for 50+ interviews with Black community members collected over the past decade.  The collection continues to grow with interviews added each year.

Ann Arbor 200
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There Went The Neighborhood: The Closing of Jones School

As part of Ann Arbor 200, the Ann Arbor District Library and 7 Cylinders Studio (7CS) have produced a documentary film about the closing of Ann Arbor's Jones School. In 1965, the Board of Education closed the majority-Black school. Ann Arbor joined a nationwide trend of school desegregation during the Civil Rights Era. But for these young students, the loss of a neighborhood school foreshadowed changes to their close-knit community. Gentrification came to Ann Arbor on the heels of desegregation.

In the making of this film, 7CS filmmakers and AADL archivists interviewed over thirty former Jones students and Black community leaders. They shared memories of Jones School and "The Old Neighborhood"—the areas now known as Kerrytown and Water Hill. A filmed walking tour, studio interviews, and historical photos form the core of the film. Run time is approximately 40 minutes.

The AADL Archives has many additional materials to explore relating to these topics, including a history of Jones School and dozens of Ann Arbor News articles that appear in the film:

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AACHM Oral History Excerpt: Audrey Lucas

Audrey Lucas was born in 1934 and raised in Ann Arbor where she fondly recalls her school days at Jones School. She talks about activities at the Dunbar Center where she had the pleasure of singing at various city events, and some of Ann Arbor's black neighborhoods and businesses. Ms. Lucas worked for the University of Michigan Health System for 47 years, the last 35 before her retirement as a human resources consultant.

View historical materials.

View Audrey Lucas's complete oral history.

Rev. Emmett Green and Audrey Lucas Plan the Second Baptist Church Mortgage Burning Celebration, October 1995 Photographer: Robert Chase

Rev. Emmett Green and Audrey Lucas Plan the Second Baptist Church Mortgage Burning Celebration, October 1995 image
Published In:
Ann Arbor News, October 7, 1995
Rev. Emmett Green, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Ann Arbor, and Audrey Lucas, chairperson of the Mortgage Burning Celebration Event, are full of praise and gratitude as the pastor holds the church mortgage which will go up in smoke Oct. 15 as the culmination of a weeklong celebration.