Thu, 05/21/2020 - 10:07am
Join Professor Jacqueline S. Mattis of the University of Michigan's Department of Psychology for a presentation on her research into the transformative power of everyday encounters with love and human goodness, including the impact of altruism, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and optimism among urban-residing African American people.
The words "urban" and "inner city" typically conjure up images of densely populated neighborhoods, crime, mean streets, isolation, and human struggle. Popular media plays on these representations. Missing from this familiar story are the everyday stories of goodness that occur in cities. This presentation draws on interviews with people who live in urban areas, including highly under-resourced urban areas, to explore how the human capacity for love, forgiveness and compassion emerges in everyday life in urban America.
Jacqueline S. Mattis, Ph.D., focuses her research on the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of African American and Afri-Caribbean youth and adults, and on the factors that are associated with positive psychological development of urban residing African Americans and Afri-Caribbeans.
Tue, 01/07/2020 - 8:05am
Author Ebony Roberts is joined by Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan, for a discussion of Ebony's new memoir, The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story. As a little girl growing up in Detroit, Ebony witnessed her parents’ brutal physical fights, often fueled by her father’s alcoholism. Her experiences as a child shaped her views on love and set the pattern for her future romantic relationships. She found herself drawn to men who cheated; verbally abused her; and disappointed her.
When she met Shaka Senghor, a man in prison for second-degree murder, she felt an intense spiritual connection, but struggled with the idea that this man behind bars could be the love God had for her. Ultimately she ignored other people’s fears and took a chance. Through letters and visits, they fell deeply in love. Once Shaka came home, they thought the worst was behind them, but Shaka’s release was the beginning of the end.
The Love Prison Made and Unmade is heartfelt. It reveals powerful lessons about love, sacrifice, courage, and forgiveness; of living your highest principles and learning not to judge someone by their worst acts. Ultimately, it is a stark reminder of the emotional cost of American justice on human lives—the partners, wives, children, and friends—beyond the prison walls.
Mon, 07/29/2019 - 12:42pm
In the first few years following the Stonewall Uprising in New York, Michigan experienced a surge in gay liberation activism, what today might fall under the umbrella of the LGBT movement. Historian Tim Retzloff explores the multiple queer organizations that sprang up in Metro Detroit and elsewhere in the early 1970s and key events from that time that sent political and social shockwaves through the state still felt today.
Tim Retzloff teaches history and LGBTQ studies at Michigan State University. He earned a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in history in from Yale University. His scholarship has appeared in the anthology Creating a Place for Ourselves, the journal GLQ, and the collection Making Suburbia. He is finishing his first book, Metro Gay, about gay and lesbian life and politics in Metro Detroit from 1945 to 1985.
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.
Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:33pm
Audrey Monagan was born in Ann Arbor in 1941, and grew up in a close-knit, predominantly black neighborhood on North Fifth Ave. She remembers attending Bethel AME Church with her grandparents, spending time at the Dunbar Community Center, and helping raise her younger siblings. She attended Jones School and Pioneer High School before working for General Motors, where she was an inspector for eighteen years. Mrs. Monagan has been married to her second husband, Philip, for 48 years.
Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:32pm
Gerald Edwards was born in 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio. He remembers being discriminated against as one of three African American students at his elementary school in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education. At Heidelberg College, he participated in sit-ins to help found a Black Student Union House. After beginning his career in automotive manufacturing with Ford Motor Company, Mr. Edwards started his own business, Engineered Plastic Products, in 1987. He and his wife Jada also started the Edwards Foundation, which was dedicated to philanthropy in Namibia.
Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:30pm
Hortense Howard was born in Bloomington, Illinois in 1927. Soon afterwards, her family moved to Ann Arbor, where she and her sisters became known as the “Bacon Sisters” for their choral performances at sorority houses and other venues. Ms. Howard attended a music school in Detroit because she “wanted to sing like Sarah Vaughan,” and she met many African American singers while working at the Gotham Hotel. She ran her own daycare, Sitters Unlimited Family Day Care, in Ann Arbor for twenty years.
Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:27pm
Henrietta Edwards was born in 1919 and grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma before moving to Ann Arbor in 1941. She and her husband worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant during World War II, and owned two filling stations—one downtown at N Fourth Avenue and E Ann Street, and one on Highway 23. She celebrated her hundredth birthday with family, friends, and former coworkers and patients from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, where she worked as a pediatric nurse for 32 years.