Tue, 08/02/2022 - 10:04am
Leah Bass-Baylis was born in 1954 in Ypsilanti. Her parents Thomas and Louise Bass–a doctor and teacher–were influential members of Ypsilanti’s Black community. She studied dance at Ypsilanti’s Randazzo Dance Theater and graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta in 1976. She also holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change from the University of Southern California. Bass-Baylis was a dancer and choreographer for many Broadway shows, including performing in The Tap Dance Kid. In her later career as an administrator, she developed arts education programs in Los Angeles. She and her husband Doug Baylis have four children.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:25am
William Hampton was born in 1948 in Tyler, Texas, and his grandmother was the midwife. He remembers attending church revival picnics, the Texas Rose Festival, and the Juneteenth parade in his hometown. While attending college in Arlington, Texas, he was active in the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He went on to launch a Section 8 subsidized housing program in Arlington and in Ann Arbor, where he worked in the community development office. Mr. Hampton has been president of the Ann Arbor chapter of the NAACP since 2005.
William Hampton was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2015-16 as part of the Legacies Project.
Wed, 01/15/2020 - 10:04am
George Ramsey was born 1938 and grew up on East Warren Avenue in Detroit. He remembers experiencing the Detroit Race Riot of 1943 as a young child and the Detroit Riot of 1967 as an adult. He attended Northeastern High School with classmates who became famous Motown singers. Ramsey served in the United States Air Force and USPS before becoming a road manager for a Motown recording group in the late 1960s. He worked for Motown music producer Lamont Dozier in California in the 1970s.
George Ramsey was interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:33pm
Walter Blackwell was born in 1930 in Petersburg, Virginia. He shares memories of growing up there as well as in Mount Vernon, New York before serving in the army during the Korean War. He worked for 30 years at the Ann Arbor VA hospital, where he enjoyed helping fellow veterans. After experiencing discrimination in housing and employment, Mr. Blackwell fought for civil rights in Ann Arbor as a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and mentored black children in his neighborhood.
Mon, 07/23/2018 - 3:52pm
Joetta Mial was born in 1931 in Jackson, Michigan, and later moved to Ann Arbor. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and spent her career as an educator in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. In 1987, Joetta became principal of Huron High School after serving as a teacher, administrator, counselor, and class principal at Huron and Pioneer High Schools.
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.