Author Archives: Jeff Smith (GRIID)

During the Depression, the Grand Rapids City Government provided direct relief and created a public works project for those unemployed

The great depression that began in 1929, happened all across the globe. Grand Rapids was not immune to the devastation brought about because of the economic catastrophe. However, during the depression years, there was one elected official who implemented New … Continue reading

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Some examples of the conditions for blacks in Grand Rapids and what types of discrimination blacks faced on a daily basis in the early part of the 20th Century

Over the past month, we have been posting articles based on archives from the Grand Rapids Public Library of Paul I. Phillips. In January, we posted a piece from a document by Phillips, where he lists all of the black … Continue reading

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“Maybe America has forgotten how smoke smells”: The state of Black Grand Rapids from the perspective of Paul I Phillips in the mid-1970s

(As always, we are grateful for the assistance of the staff at the Grand Rapids Public Library, particularly those on 4th floor.) Our last post referred to a document from former Urban League members Paul I Phillips, where he documented … Continue reading

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African Americans from Grand Rapids who were part of the US Civil War

(As always, we are grateful for the assistance of the staff at the Grand Rapids Public Library, particularly those on 4th floor.) In reading the book, African Americans in the Furniture City: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Grand Rapids … Continue reading

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1970 document sheds light on the housing crisis in Grand Rapids and the lack of political will to solve it

We came across a document at the Grand Rapids Library recent, a document that is included in the William M. Glenn Papers. William Glen was involved with the Grand Rapids Urban League and he also was part of the Housing … Continue reading

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Days of Our Lies: Public Access TV show provided independent news and news analysis in Grand Rapids from 1992 – 1998

For nearly seven years (between 1992 – 1998), if people had access to cable TV in the Grand Rapids area, they might have come across a show on GRTV called, Days of Our Lies. The show was started by several … Continue reading

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56 years ago what did the GR Press report on Malcolm X’s suspension from the Nation of Islam over comments on President Kennedy’s death?

Fifty six year ago, Malcolm X made comments about President Kennedy’s assassination, comments which got him suspended by Elijah Mohammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Here on the right, you can read what the Grand Rapids Press ran, … Continue reading

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A History of Anarchism in Grand Rapids

Several years ago, Sprout Distro published a 4 part series of zines on the history of Anarchism in Grand Rapids. These four zines not only are well written and well researched, they make it clear that there has been an … Continue reading

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Newly archived Labor Press available at the Grand Rapids Public Library

Thanks to longtime local labor historian Michael Johnston, the Grand Rapids Public Library now has both hard copy and digital archives of several different labor press sources from 1955 to the present. The archived labor press sources are the Grand … Continue reading

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How the press reported on an 1891 Labor Strike in Grand Rapids

I was recently reading Sidney Harring’s, Policing A Class Society: The Experience of American Cities 1865 – 1915,  and came across a brief description of a labor strike in Grand Rapids in May of 1891.  I decided to look up … Continue reading

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