Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:17am
Roberta Hughes Wright was born in 1922 and grew up in Detroit. She attended Howard University at age 15 and completed her bachelor's degree at Wayne State University. During the course of her career she was an X-ray technician, teacher, school social worker, and probate attorney. She earned her PhD from the University of Michigan and a JD from Wayne State. After the passing of her first husband Wilbur B. Hughes II, she married Charles H. Wright, founder of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. She wrote several books, including an autobiography titled Reflections of My Life and Lay Down Body: Living History in African American Cemeteries. She passed away on April 2, 2019.
Roberta Hughes Wright was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:14am
Opal Simmons was born in 1931 in Detroit. After graduating from Eastern High School, she attended Fisk University and Wayne State University. She lived in New York for a few years as a young woman and recalls attending dances at the Savoy. She volunteered as a letter reader for the American Red Cross during World War II. During her working years in Detroit, she was secretary to the deputy mayor in the Coleman A. Young administration. Richard Simmons Jr. became her second husband. Later in life, she attended seminary and became a minister.
Opal Simmons was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:10am
Mary Frazier was born in 1910 in Marion, Arkansas, where her father owned a 140-acre cotton farm. She describes sharecropping, Black land-ownership, and the devastating effects of the boll weevil infestation on the cotton industry in the early twentieth century. When her father’s farm went under, she moved to Detroit to live with her aunt in the Black Bottom neighborhood. Over the course of her career, Frazier worked as a domestic laborer, hospital worker, and U.S. Postal Service employee. She completed her high school education at age 83.
Mary Frazier was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Thu, 01/16/2020 - 9:06am
Lt. Col. Larry Millben was born in 1936 in Detroit. His parents immigrated from Chatham and Windsor, Canada. Fascinated by airplanes from an early age, he was one of only a few Black students to attend Aero Mechanics High School (now Davis Aerospace Technical High School) in Detroit in the early 1950s. Millben went on to become an aircraft mechanic, a military avionics officer, and base commander of Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Prior to his military career, he also worked in research and development in the private sector. He married his wife Jeannie in 1959, and they have three children.
Larry Millben was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.