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 - 3:32pm
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.
Mon, 07/23/2018 - 4:05pm
Essie Shelton was born in Mississippi in 1930 and moved to Ann Arbor with her father in 1946. She recalls her experience entering an integrated high school for the first time and how she came to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a licensed practical nurse at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Essie also met her husband at the hospital and together they raised three children.
Mon, 07/23/2018 - 3:52pm
Joetta Mial was born in 1931 in Jackson, Michigan, and later moved to Ann Arbor. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and spent her career as an educator in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. In 1987, Joetta became principal of Huron High School after serving as a teacher, administrator, counselor, and class principal at Huron and Pioneer High Schools.
Ann Arbor News, April 30, 1977
Honoring His Dream - Martin Luther King, engraved in bronze, shares his dream with Pioneer High School students. The plaque in tribute to the late civil rights leader was a gift to the school from the Black Student Union. (News photo by Cecil Lockard)
Ann Arbor News, March 21, 1983
Suing FBI - One of the Liuzzo family's attorneys helps Tommy Liuzzo with his tie before heading into court this morning to hear the start of testimony in a $2 million suit the family has filed against the FBI. Watching Tommy's last-minute adjustments were (from left) Penny, Mary, Sally and Tony Liuzzo. The Liuzzos charge that FBI acted improperly in the death of their mother, Viola, in 1965 after her participation in a march protesting the denial of voting rights to blacks. Stories on Pages A6 and D1.