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Category Archives: Uncategorized

  • Negro-Caucasian Club, 1926-1927

    Members of the Negro-Caucasian Club, 1926-27

    June 28, 2021

    The Negro-Caucasian Club

    The Negro-Caucasian Club’s aim was “to work for a better understanding between the races and for the abolition of discrimination against Negroes.”

  • Mosher Jordan dormitory

    Sample Caption

    January 28, 2021

    An Unwritten Law

    In 1930, every one of the 450 women who would be housed in the new Mosher-Jordan dorm would be white. African American students, parents, and alumni carried out a long battle to integrate the dorms, engaging in years of activism.

  • Mary Henrietta Graham

    Mary Henrietta Graham was likely the first female Black student at U-M.

    January 10, 2021

    Of Splendid Ability

    Mary Henrietta Graham’s accomplishments went far beyond being the first Black woman to enroll at Michigan.

  • Michigan track team in 1925

    DeHart Hubbard (23 in the photo) with his teammates on the Michigan track squad, 1925.

    January 5, 2021

    Lonely as Hell

    In a forgotten series of interviews, Black Michigan athletes of the past recalled times when racial lines in sports were firm — then faded.


Autobiographies and Biographies

Several African American alumni have published books about their personal stories, both at U-M and beyond.

  • Cover for the book Memoirs of a Black Psychiatrist
    Cover for the book Memoirs of a Black Psychiatrist
    Michigan Publishing, 2017 James L. Curtis:

    Memoirs of a Black Psychiatrist: A Life of Advocacy for Social Change

    James L. Curtis is an accomplished psychiatrist and was a leading figure in the struggle to end racism and segregation in medicine and particularly medical schools.

  • Billy Taylor wearing number 42 jersey and holding a football helmet
    Billy Taylor wearing number 42 jersey and holding a football helmet
    Immortal Investments Publishing, 2005 Dr. Billy Taylor and Kevin Allen

    Get Back Up: The Billy Taylor Story

    One of Michigan’s most celebrated football players, William Taylor was buffeted by numerous personal tragedies and spent nearly 20 years living on Detroit’s streets before rebuilding his life and becoming an educator.

  • Lawrence Chesterfield Bryant portrait circa 1973
    Lawrence Chesterfield Bryant portrait circa 1973
    Orangeburg, South Carolina, 1971 Lawrence Chesterfield Bryant:

    Autobiography of Lawrence C. Bryant

    Lawrence Chesterfield Bryant taught at historically Black colleges across the South and organized the first genealogical programs for African Americans in the Carolinas.

  • Upward book cover
    Upward book cover
    Howard University Press, 1983 Lyman Beecher Brooks:

    Upward: A History of Norfolk State University

    Lyman Beecher Brooks dedicated his life to education and to historically Black Norfolk State University, which he led for nearly 40 years.

  • The Rest of the Dream book cover
    The Rest of the Dream book cover
    University Press of Kentucky, 1988 Lyman Johnson and Wade Hall:

    The Rest of the Dream: The Black Odyssey of Lyman Johnson

    Lyman Johnson was an educator and a key leader in the fight for civil rights in Kentucky for more than 40 years.

  • Cover image for the book The Quiet Trailblazer
    Cover image for the book The Quiet Trailblazer
    University of Georgia Press, 2021 Mary Frances Early:

    The Quiet Trailblazer

    Mary Frances Early was a celebrated musical educator and committed “foot soldier” in the struggle for civil rights, becoming the first Black graduate of the University of Georgia.

  • Cover of book Being Black Looking White
    Cover of book Being Black Looking White
    Self-Published, 2013 Sylvia Lash Holman:

    Being Black, Looking White ... My World

    Sylvia Lash Holman’s extraordinary life has taken her from segregated North Carolina to Ann Arbor where she spent decades as a teacher and advocate for educational equity.

  • Jessye Norman Book Cover
    Jessye Norman Book Cover
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014 Jessye Norman:

    Stand Up Straight and Sing!

    Jessye Norman was one of the world’s most beloved opera singers and recitalists, performing across the globe for nearly fifty years.

  • Mary Olivia Brookins Ross Book Cover
    Mary Olivia Brookins Ross Book Cover
    Harlo Press, 1989 Mary Olivia Brookins Ross:

    From Crumbs to Gravy: The Autobiography of Mary Olivia Brookins Ross

    Mary Olivia Brookins Ross was an educator and devout Baptist who led the women’s branch of the National Baptist Convention for more than thirty years.

  • Roger Wilkins book cover
    Roger Wilkins book cover
    Simon and Schuster, 1982 Roger Wilkins:

    A Man’s Life: An Autobiography

    Roger Wilkins was a leader in the fight for civil rights in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations before becoming a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist.

  • william-jimmerson-holloway-book-cover
    Xlibris Corp., 2001 William Jimmerson Holloway:

    The Odyssey of a North American Educator

    William Jimmerson Holloway led a long and distinguished career as an educational administrator, first in historically segregated Black colleges and then as part of efforts to end segregation.

  • willis-patterson-book-cover
    Michigan Publishing, 2015 Willis C. Patterson:

    The Unlikely Saga of a Singer from Ann Arbor

    A highly accomplished classical singer, Willis Charles Patterson had a wide-ranging career, which included over 40 years as an inspirational educator in Michigan’s School of Music.