Mike Hamlin and Joann Castle Papers

Accession Number: 
1.25 linear feet (1 SB, 1 MB)

Michael Charles Hamlin was born Oct 17, 1935. He graduated from Ecorse High School and attended the University of Michigan on a scholarship. He enlisted in the Marines, working as a firearms instructor until he was discharged in 1960. He worked as a delivery truck driver for the Detroit News, where he met Kenneth Cockrel and John Watson. He later worked for Wayne State University’s newspaper, “South End.” Mike Hamlin was active in political groups such as the Black Workers Conference. He was a founding member of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and served as an officer. He also organized the black radical newspaper, “Inner City Voice.”

Joann Carole Castle was born May 30, 1937. In 1957 she married Donald J. Castle, Chairman of the Catholic lay organization Hourglass, with whom she had six children. After their marriage ended in the early 1970s she began attending Wayne State University. Both Hamlin and Castle were active in the Motor City Labor League (MCLL). Hamlin was a founder of the organization and Castle worked for a period as a coordinator. Both attended meetings of the Control-Conflict-Change group of the Ad Hoc Action Group of Concern Citizens.

The papers consist of records from Mike Hamlin and Joann Castle’s involvement in MCLL, largely through the Red Squad files of police surveillance that documented meetings, personal actions and information. The collection also includes articles, clippings and correspondence from the controversy over the Archdiocese Opportunity Program to aid the impoverished in Detroit and the Hourglass group involvement to support self-determination of African Americans in the late 1960s. Joann’s thesis on the Community Health Associations is also included.

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