Benita Kaimowitz was born in 1935 and grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where her father ran a general store. When she was 11, her family moved to Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating from college at the University of Hawaii, she got her master’s at Sarah Lawrence College. Kaimowitz helped register voters in Louisiana as a volunteer for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). She was a teacher and a longtime employee of Borders Bookstore in Ann Arbor. She and her first husband Gabe lived in a collective house for over two decades.
Benita Kaimowitz was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor as part of the Legacies Project.
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.
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.