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Jones School

Jones School was an anchor of Ann Arbor’s historically Black neighborhood (what is now Kerrytown) from the early twentieth century until 1965. Many living Ann Arbor residents remember attending Jones School during the Civil Rights Era. In 1964 the Ann Arbor Board of Education acknowledged that, with over 75% Black students, Jones was a “de facto” segregated school. Jones School closed in 1965, and several years later the building reopened as Community High School.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Shirley Northcross

Shirley Northcross was born in 1936 and grew up near Dayton, Ohio. Her father ran the Miami View Golf Course, and she recalls visits from famous athletes like Joe Louis. She was the first Black student to graduate from Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio. After getting a degree in physical education from Michigan State University, Northcross started out a substitute teacher and a counselor for the Camp Fire Girls of America. She taught physical education at Northwestern High School in Detroit for over 30 years.

Shirley Northcross 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.

Bluebirds Club Ice Skating At Veterans Memorial Park, January 17, 1972

Bluebirds Club Ice Skating At Veterans Memorial Park, January 17, 1972 image
Published In:
Ann Arbor News, January 17, 1972
With slightly shaky success, a new group of Bluebirds tried its wings on ice recently. And giggles drowned out any worries of failure. Pictured from left are Nora McNamara, Leader Martha Cooper, Kris Williams, Helper Missy Babcock, and Beth Meade. (The woman in the background is not identified.) The Bluebirds, as well as their older counterparts, the Camp Fire Girls, are organizing for the first time in Ann Arbor under Mrs. Cooper's direction. Mrs. Cooper, who was a Camp Fire Girl in her youth, decided to launch the program locally because of fond memories of her Colorado girlhood in the organization. The two groups are actively seeking more recruits so they can grow, flourish and share their experiences more widely. Of course, adult volunteer leaders are needed, too. The groups are for girls of all races, religions, national origins and economic backgrounds from the age of six through high school.