Presented in Partnership between the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County and the Ann Arbor District Library
Sun, 11/08/2020 - 3:29pm
David Rutledge was born in 1945 in LaFayette, Alabama and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He traces his commitment to public service to his experience protesting a segregated lunch counter as a teenager. He attended Tennessee State University and the University of Michigan Law School. Mr. Rutledge has served as Superior Township Supervisor, Ypsilanti State Representative, and as a member of the Washtenaw County Parks Commission and Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees. He dedicates this interview to his parents and his late wife, Gerri.
For most of the twentieth century, the 100 block of East Ann Street was a hub for Black-owned businesses in downtown Ann Arbor. A rotating set of barber shops, shoe shine parlors, dry cleaners, restaurants, blues bars, and pool rooms formed the backbone of Black social life, especially for men. The district stretched around the corner onto North Fourth Avenue where the Colored Welfare League housed Black-owned businesses and community organizations such as the early Dunbar Center.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:10am
Mary Frazier was born in 1910 in Marion, Arkansas, where her father owned a 140-acre cotton farm. She describes sharecropping, Black land-ownership, and the devastating effects of the boll weevil infestation on the cotton industry in the early twentieth century. When her father’s farm went under, she moved to Detroit to live with her aunt in the Black Bottom neighborhood. Over the course of her career, Frazier worked as a domestic laborer, hospital worker, and U.S. Postal Service employee. She completed her high school education at age 83.
Mary Frazier was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Wed, 01/15/2020 - 9:50am
David Griffis has lived in Detroit for his entire life except for two years of service in the military, when he went to Korea. He worked as a Personnel Technician for the Michigan Employment Security Commission and for Chrysler’s personnel department. He received a degree in business administration from Wayne State University, and went on to run two nursing home facilities in Detroit for over fifteen years. He has two daughters, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
David Griffis was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.