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AACHM Oral History: Diana McKnight-Morton

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 10:50am

Diana McKnight-MortonDiana McKnight-Morton was born in 1944 and grew up on West Kingsley Street in a racially mixed neighborhood. Her parents Robert and Adeline Thompson ran a successful carry-out restaurant, DeLong’s Bar-B-Q, on Detroit Street for 38 years. McKnight-Morton got her master’s in guidance and counseling from Eastern Michigan University and became a supervisor for Washtenaw County Employment and Training and Community Services. She has served as a member of the Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees since 1994.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Titus McClary

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:22am

Titus W. McClary was born in 1937 and spent his childhood in Georgetown, South Carolina. After moving to Detroit, he attended Highland Park High School and worked at his uncle’s North End restaurant. During his time in the army in the early 1960s, he picketed a segregated theater and restaurant in Killeen, Texas. In 1965 he became the third Black police officer in Highland Park. McClary ran the juvenile division and helped found a Black officers’ organization. He served as mayor of Highland Park and remained a city council member until he passed away in 2017.

Titus McClary was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.

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AACHM Oral History: Larry Hunter

Mon, 07/23/2018 - 3:38pm

Larry Hunter was born in 1951 and has lived in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. He’s worked in public service for years, served on Ann Arbor City Council, and earned a Juris Doctor degree in law in 2000. Larry recalls how he became politically active as a young man, organizing walkouts at his high school as a leader in the Black Student Union, as well as his involvement with the Black Panthers.

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AACHM Oral History: Shirley Beckley

Sun, 09/11/2016 - 12:57pm

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Shirley Beckley was born on July 30, 1942. She was raised by her mother on Wall St. and attended Jones School, Mack School, and Bach Schools in Ann Arbor. Shirley started as a housing manager for the Ann Arbor Housing Commission, later becoming housing director in Lansing and Muskegon. She reminisces about working at Jacobson’s, dances at the Dunbar Center, businesses on Fourth Avenue and Ann Streets, and tense racial incidents in the schools. Shirley continues to be deeply involved in social justice issues at the local level.