Category Archives: Civil Rights/Freedom Movement

Grand Rapids, Statues and White Supremacy

There has been a great deal of public conversation in the weeks following the White Supremacist violence in Charlottesville, around the issue of white supremacy and symbols of white supremacy. In Charlotteville, the decision was made to remove a statue … Continue reading

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Artwork highlights a People’s History in Grand Rapids – Print #13: The Klan in Grand Rapids 1925

Last semester, art students in Brett Colley’s GVSU class on printmaking, invited me to come talk about the Grand Rapids People’s History Project. The intent of the class was to have students investigate their own part of a People’s History … Continue reading

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50 years after the 1967 Riot in Grand Rapids: What we know and what can we learn?

On July 25th, 1967, Grand Rapids police officers arrested several Black youth, when they pulled them over believing they were in a stolen vehicle. One source says that the officers may have used excessive force in dealing with the Black youth, according … Continue reading

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WOOD TV 8 footage of the 1967 Riot in Grand Rapids

(Thanks to the Grand Rapids Public Library for directing me to this archival material.) Last week, we posted a 1987 story from the Grand Rapids Press  about the 1967 riot in Grand Rapids, where two men who were part of … Continue reading

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A Retrospective on the 1967 Riot in Grand Rapids, Twenty Years Afterwards: From the Grand Rapids Press

(This is the first of a series of postings that deal with the 1967 riot in Grand Rapids, which took place 50 years ago between July 25 and July 27.) “It is not enough for me to stand before you … Continue reading

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3000 march in Grand Rapids after Birmingham Church Bombing – 1963

On Sunday, September 15 of 1963, the 16th Street Baptist Church was the site on a White Terrorist bombing, resulting in the deaths of four African American girls – Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair. … Continue reading

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The Mustache Affair in Grand Rapids, as reported on by the Commercial Media in 1966

(Special Thanks to the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Grand Rapids City Archives for assisting with finding the material sources here.) Chapter 4 of Todd Robinson’s important and insightful book, A City Within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle … Continue reading

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