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AACHM Oral History: William Hampton

Sun, 11/08/2020 - 5:03pm

 

William Hampton

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.

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AACHM Oral History: David Rutledge

Sun, 11/08/2020 - 3:29pm

David Rutledge

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.

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AACHM Oral History: Don Simons

Sun, 11/08/2020 - 1:08pm

Don Simons

Donald L. Simons was born in 1943 and he grew up on Fuller Street in Ann Arbor. He attended Jones School, Ann Arbor High, and Eastern Michigan University. He was a starting football halfback and basketball co-captain in high school, and was recognized as athlete of the month. Mr. Simons recalls segregation and several incidents of discrimination in Ann Arbor. He is proud of his family, his work coaching at the Maxey Boys' Training School and Boysville, and co-hosting the annual neighborhood picnic for 25 years.

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AACHM Oral History: Thekla Mitchell

Sun, 11/08/2020 - 9:27am

Thekla Mitchell

Thekla Mitchell: Thekla White was born in 1921 in Newport, Arkansas, the youngest of nine siblings. At age 22, she traveled to Ann Arbor to visit her sister. After getting a job at Cunningham’s Drug Store, she decided to stay. She worked at the University of Michigan Hospital as a nurses’ aid and laboratory assistant in the Pathology Department for 24 years. Known as “Dimples” to friends and family, Mrs. Mitchell was active in community organizations including the Ann Arbor Civic Club and the Order of the Eastern Stars.

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AACHM Oral History: Harold Simons

Sun, 11/08/2020 - 9:25am

Harold Simons

Harold Simons was born in 1946 and he grew up in Ann Arbor. He was inspired by Jones School teacher Harry Mial to become a teacher and coach. A standout basketball player for Ann Arbor High, he went on to play at Eastern Michigan University. He was the freshman basketball coach there before becoming head coach at Huron High for 20 years. Mr. Simons reflects on race relations and generational differences in Ann Arbor. He and his wife Ethel have been married for 53 years.

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AADL Productions Podcast: Lola Jones and Carol Gibson

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 1:03pm

Lola Jones and Carol Gibson are well-known to anyone familiar with Ann Arbor history. Over the past 30 years they have sought out and documented the history of the African American experience in Ann Arbor through a series of projects under the moniker Another Ann Arbor; it is largely through their work that the Ann Arbor African American story is a part of our shared community identity. Lola and Carol stopped by the library to talk with us one day about the work they have done over the years and where they are headed next. They shared with us some of the interesting people and events they have learned about and brought to the community in their television program, their documentaries, and their book. You can now watch one of their documentaries online at aadl.org in our video collection. A Woman's Town was produced in 1991 and tells the story of Ann Arbor through the voices of prominent African American women.

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Legacies Project Oral History: George Ramsey

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

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Legacies Project Oral History: Anna Noble

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 9:40am

Anna Noble was born in the early 1920s and grew up in Pittsburgh with 11 siblings. She worked as a launderer as a young woman. She applied to several nursing schools, but faced discrimination due to segregation. She attended Mercy Douglass School of Nursing in Philadelphia, which was an all-Black nursing school. In 1950, Noble moved to Detroit to take a nursing position at Haynes Memorial Hospital. She became the director of nursing at DMC Harper University Hospital, where she worked for 23 years. Later in life, she volunteered at the Lula Belle Stewart Center, which offered parenting assistance to single mothers.

Anna Noble was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project

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Author Event | Morgan Parker Discusses Magical Negro

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 8:11am

Magical Negro is an archive of black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy
and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of Black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics—of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience.

In Magical Negro, Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes, and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present—timeless black melancholies and triumphs.

For this event, Parker was in conversation with Aisha Sabatini Sloan, Visiting Professor of Creative Nonfiction at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Alice Sano

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 11:05am

Alice Sano was born in 1929 in Los Angeles, California. When the U.S. entered WWII, her family was forced to move to an internment camp along with other Japanese immigrants. Eventually her father secured a job teaching Japanese to army military intelligence students at the University of Michigan, and they moved to Ann Arbor. Sano majored in music theory and cello at the U-M School of Music, and dedicated her career to teaching music.

Alice Sane was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2018 as part of the Legacies Project.