Category Archives: Civil Rights/Freedom Movement

Print Celebrates 1960s Freedom Rider from Grand Rapids, Walter Bergman

Over two years ago, we posted an article about Walter Bergman, a university professor from Michigan, who was badly beaten while participating in the Freedom Rides in 1960. In that article we honored the commitment and sacrifice that Dr. Bergman … Continue reading

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The Black Community made demands of the Grand Rapids Police Department in 1970

There is ample evidence that African Americans in Grand Rapids have always been the target of intimidation, harassment and violence from law enforcement. This history plagues the black community today, with recent incidents of police traumatizing black youth who were … Continue reading

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Artwork depicts the very public display of White Supremacy in Grand Rapids 1925

A new print by Jamari Taylor, depicts the blatant display of White Supremacy in Grand Rapids in 1925, when the KKK organized a parade on the city’s westside. This new artwork communicates a powerful message about the Klan, which turned … Continue reading

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GR Press Coverage of the 1963 March on Detroit & Washington

Our last post looked at the Grand Rapids Press editorials on the 1963 March on Washington, with the main editorial practicing what we name as a form of white paternalism. Today’s post takes a look at the GR Press coverage … Continue reading

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White Paternalism and the Grand Rapids Press Editorial on the 1963 March on Washington

In Jeanne Theoharis’s important book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History, makes the point that we often look back to events like the 1963 march on Washington and think that the majority … Continue reading

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The Human Relations Commission and the racial tensions of the 1960s in Grand Rapids: Part II

Last week, we posted Part I of a look at the Human Relations Commission and the racial tensions of the 1960s. In Part II, we want to look at the racial tensions that was known to the Human Rights Commission … Continue reading

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The Human Relations Commission and the racial tensions of the 1960s in Grand Rapids: Part I

The Human Relations Commission (HRC) in Grand Rapids was created based on a study that was called for by then Grand Rapids Mayor Paul Goebel. This commission was established to, “foster mutual understanding and respect among all racial, religious and … Continue reading

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