Dolores Preston Turner was born in Ann Arbor in the early 1940s, and her family lived in a small historically Black neighborhood on Woodlawn Avenue. She graduated from Ann Arbor High School, where she met her future husband, James Turner. She remembers moving into their first apartment in Pittsfield Village as a result of fair housing protests in Ann Arbor in the 1960s. Turner has two master’s degrees and she taught English at Huron High School for 30 years. Dolores and James celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in September 2021.
Diana McKnight-Morton was born in 1944 and grew up on West Kingsley Street in a racially mixed neighborhood. Her parents Robert and Adeline Thompson ran a successful carry-out restaurant, DeLong’s Bar-B-Q, on Detroit Street for 38 years. McKnight-Morton got her master’s in guidance and counseling from Eastern Michigan University and became a supervisor for Washtenaw County Employment and Training and Community Services. She has served as a member of the Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees since 1994.
Titus W. McClary was born in 1937 and spent his childhood in Georgetown, South Carolina. After moving to Detroit, he attended Highland Park High School and worked at his uncle’s North End restaurant. During his time in the army in the early 1960s, he picketed a segregated theater and restaurant in Killeen, Texas. In 1965 he became the third Black police officer in Highland Park. McClary ran the juvenile division and helped found a Black officers’ organization. He served as mayor of Highland Park and remained a city council member until he passed away in 2017.
Titus McClary was interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Mary Dyson Martin was born in 1914 in Dallas, Texas. Her grandmother had been enslaved in Tennessee, and she grew up conscious of that legacy. Martin graduated from Fisk University and got her masters in library science at the University of Illinois. She taught swimming lessons for the YWCA Girl Reserves during the summers. She was a high school librarian in Gary, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan for over thirty years. Her husband was a doctor and a World War II veteran. They were married for 47 years and had two children.
Mary Martin was interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Marlene Laws grew up in Detroit and graduated from Sidney D. Miller High School in 1958. She served in the military at Fort Sam in Houston, Texas from 1960 to 1962. Upon returning to Michigan, she was a nurse at Pontiac State Hospital for two years. Laws dedicated 43 years of her career to the United States Postal Service as a clerk and then as a Human Resources specialist. She and her former husband Kenneth had one daughter, Dr. Dawn N. Laws. Marlene Laws passed away on February, 4, 2017.
Marlene Laws was interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Louise Adams was born in 1928 and grew up in Ecorse, Michigan. She was the first Black student to graduate second highest in her class at Ecorse High School in 1946. She studied art education at Wayne State University and taught in public schools from 1951 until her retirement in 1983. She married Chuck Adams in 1951 and they had two children, Marcus Adams and Sylvia Adams Burns. They lived in Detroit and then Inskter, where the family built their own home. Louise Adams passed away on June 12, 2014.
Louise Adams was interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
George Ramsey was born 1938 and grew up on East Warren Avenue in Detroit. He remembers experiencing the Detroit Race Riot of 1943 as a young child and the Detroit Riot of 1967 as an adult. He attended Northeastern High School with classmates who became famous Motown singers. Ramsey served in the United States Air Force and USPS before becoming a road manager for a Motown recording group in the late 1960s. He worked for Motown music producer Lamont Dozier in California in the 1970s.
George Ramsey was interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
Ernest Holland was born in 1934 and grew up in a mixed neighborhood in South Dayton, Ohio. After his mother’s death when he was 3, he was raised by his grandparents. His grandfather was a Baptist preacher, and his grandmother ran the household. Holland graduated from Miami University with a degree in biology. After serving in the U.S. Navy for a few years, he taught science at Western High School in Detroit for the rest of his career. Holland passed away on December 18, 2019.
Ernest Holland was interviewed in partnership with the Museum of African American History of Detroit and Y Arts Detroit in 2010 as part of the Legacies Project.
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Fred Adams was born in 1934 and grew up in Ann Arbor. He recalls summers playing in the Huron River, youth activities with the Dunbar Center and Jones School, his work as a paperboy, and some of the black neighborhoods and businesses in the Ann St. area. Mr. Adams worked for Johnson Controls for 41 years and owned his own business as an Industrial Manager.
Ann Arbor News, August 4, 1967
Ann Arbor's National Guard Unit Returns From Detroit