Subject focus: Jewish Detroit Experience

The Reuther Library celebrates the Jewish holiday of Passover with a look at some of the significant collections housed in the library that deal with the Jewish experience in Metropolitan Detroit.

As the repository for the Jewish Community Archives (JCA), the Reuther Library has a wealth of information on the Jewish community in Detroit and surrounding environs. The JCA holdings include, but are not limited to, the papers of:  read more »

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

(24786) Mourning King

“It is a crime to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.

At the beginning of 1968, working conditions for sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, especially African Americans, were atrocious. Employees were given no benefits, no vacation pay, no pensions; forty percent qualified for welfare, and many worked second jobs. During bad weather, black workers were sent home without pay, while white workers collected a full day’s wages. The Memphis Sanitation Department refused to modernize the equipment used by black workers.  read more »

Ford Hunger March

(DN_76441) Ford Hunger March, Marchers en route, 1932

As the devastation of the Great Depression spread throughout Detroit, increased lay-offs and financial instability among Ford Motor Company workers led to an atmosphere of despair that reached an apex in 1932. These workers were among those who marched to Ford’s River Rouge Industrial Complex in Dearborn, Michigan on March 7, 1932. This event, famously known as the Hunger March, was orchestrated by members of Detroit’s Unemployed Councils, who had been helping unemployed workers fight evictions and seek relief from charitable agencies.  read more »

Pączki Day

(DN_8976) Ethnic Communities, Polish, Hamtramck, Businesses, 1951

In Metro Detroit everyone is Polish on Pączki Day, celebrated this year on March 5, 2019. A mystery to those who live outside of areas with large Polish populations, pączki (PUNCH-kee) are deep fried pieces of dough, filled with preserves, custards, or other sweet fillings. Since the Middle Ages  read more »

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