srafferty's blog

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 »

Bradley v Milliken Desegregation Collections

This fall we have processed two new collections that add to the history of desegregation efforts in Detroit schools. These collections highlight the disparate perspectives represented in archives, where pieces of evidence can be assessed together to gain a deeper understanding of events in the past.

Attempts to desegregate Detroit Public Schools, particularly the court case Bradley v Milliken during the 1970s and 1980s, were very controversial endeavors.  read more »

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