srafferty's blog

Michael Kerwin Papers Now Open

Michael Kerwin in Sergio DiGiusti studio

Michael W. Kerwin passed away on July 19, 2021 at the age of 97. A portion of his archival papers are now available for research.

Kerwin was well-known and respected for his activism and long-term involvement in labor, democratic politics, and Irish communities of Detroit. His involvement with the UAW began when he moved to Detroit in 1950 and started a position working at American Metal Products Co. and became a member of the local Education Committee. His interest of participating on the Education Committee lead to a job with the UAW Education Department, where he worked for almost 30 years.  read more »

Recent additions: Black perspectives at the Reuther Library

(28672) Mayor Young, Downtown Detroit, Skyline, 1991

Detroit’s Black citizens have faced a long, complicated history of struggle and perseverance. While the voices of Black individuals are generally underrepresented in archives, Reuther Library has a number of collections that help document this history in varied formats and perspectives, and we've added more in recent years. Here are descriptions of just a few of these notable collections:  read more »

Juneteenth - A celebration of freedom since 1865

Juneteenth Celebration flyer

President Lincoln is popularly given credit for freeing enslaved people in the United States with the Emancipation Proclamation. Though he personally did not support the use of slavery, his reasons for creating this proclamation were seen as more political and military than out of an advocacy for human and civil rights. His order, given as President and Commander in Chief of the military, did free people being held as slaves, but only in states that were in active rebellion against the Union. The Emancipation Proclamation gave military forces the authority and power to liberate slaves as they continued to gain ground in the South states.

But what does this have to do with Juneteenth? What is Juneteenth you might ask?  read more »

NAACP Detroit Branch Records - An addition to a long history of fighting for civil rights and community improvement

The Walter P. Reuther Library is happy to announce an addition to the NAACP Detroit Branch Records collection.

The Detroit Branch of the NAACP was established in 1912, making it one of the oldest branches in the country. Over the past century, this organization has worked to support and improve the lives of African Americans, particularly in areas of housing, employment, education, police-community relations, and voting.  read more »

Syndicate content