Sylvia Blake Bynum was born on November 7, 1884 in Cary, North Carolina to John Addison Blake and Mintia Hooker Blake. She married Oliver Bynum in January of 1918 in Portsmouth, Virginia. He passed away in 1929.
Sun, 11/08/2020 - 9:27am
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.
For most of the twentieth century, the 100 block of East Ann Street was a hub for Black-owned businesses in downtown Ann Arbor. A rotating set of barber shops, shoe shine parlors, dry cleaners, restaurants, blues bars, and pool rooms formed the backbone of Black social life, especially for men. The district stretched around the corner onto North Fourth Avenue where the Colored Welfare League housed Black-owned businesses and community organizations such as the early Dunbar Center.
Ann Arbor News, November 17, 1949
SCOUT SINGERS FORM SEXTET: These six boys, members of Dunbar Community Center-sponsored Boy Scout Troop 75, have formed themselves into a sextet. They have worked out their own harmonies and have sung at Community Chest luncheons and at the Scout "appreciation dinner" Saturday night in Ypsilanti. In the front row (left to right) are Richard Jackson, 13, of 310 Beakes St. and Hathaway Gulley, 15, of 210 Beakes St. In the rear (left to right) are Duane Calvert, 14, and Dick Sleet, 13, both of 621 N. Fourth Ave., Bernard Patterson, 16, of 712 N. Fourth Ave., and Marvin Baker, 14, of 651 N. Fourth Ave.
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.