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Ann Arbor 200
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There Went The Neighborhood: The Closing of Jones School

As part of Ann Arbor 200, the Ann Arbor District Library and 7 Cylinders Studio (7CS) have produced a documentary film about the closing of Ann Arbor's Jones School. In 1965, the Board of Education closed the majority-Black school. Ann Arbor joined a nationwide trend of school desegregation during the Civil Rights Era. But for these young students, the loss of a neighborhood school foreshadowed changes to their close-knit community. Gentrification came to Ann Arbor on the heels of desegregation.

In the making of this film, 7CS filmmakers and AADL archivists interviewed over thirty former Jones students and Black community leaders. They shared memories of Jones School and "The Old Neighborhood"—the areas now known as Kerrytown and Water Hill. A filmed walking tour, studio interviews, and historical photos form the core of the film. Run time is approximately 40 minutes.

The AADL Archives has many additional materials to explore relating to these topics, including a history of Jones School and dozens of Ann Arbor News articles that appear in the film:

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AACHM Oral History: Carol Allen

Carol AllenCarol Allen was born in Alton, Illinois in 1945. Her parents Janie and Thomas Ross moved to Ann Arbor in 1951 and purchased a home on Fifth Avenue. Her father was a cook and her mother was a nurse’s aid and custodian. Carol recalls raising her son Carl Jr. with her husband while living on the second floor of her family’s home. She got her associate’s degree in practical nursing and worked in that field for most of her career. In January 2023 she and her husband Carl celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They have two sons and several grandchildren.

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Safety Patrol Boys Russell Calvert and Aksi Kikut Depart for Washington, D.C., May 1954

Safety Patrol Boys Russell Calvert and Aksi Kikut Depart for Washington, D.C., May 1954 image
Published In:
Ann Arbor News, May 7, 1954
SAFETY PATROL BOYS START TRIP: Russell Calvert (left), 11-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Burgess (Edward) Calvert of 626 N. Fourth Ave., and Aksi Kikut, 13, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur A. Kikut of 2906 South Blvd., bid parents farewell as they leave to join 13 other Michigan Safety Patrol boys in the annual trip to Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Automobile Club. Both sixth graders, the boys are representing Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Young Kikut, formerly a patrol captain in Ypsilanti, recently moved to Ann Arbor. Calvert is a pupil at Jones School.

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.

Calvert's Recycling Center

Calvert's Recycling Center image