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Friday Photo History: Judge Damon Keith with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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This week features a second photo from the Judge Damon Keith Collection. Damon J. Keith was born in Detroit, Michigan, and has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 1977. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Keith served as Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Judge Keith is a graduate of West Virginia State College (B.A. 1943), Howard University Law School (J.D. 1949), where he was elected Chief Justice of the Court of Peers, and Wayne State University Law School (LL.M. 1956). Judge Keith has consistently stood up for civil rights and the Constitution. His most famous decision was in the United States v. Sinclair case in which he ruled to prohibit warrantless wiretapping that had been perpetrated by the Nixon Administration. More recently Judge Keith ruled it unlawful for the Bush administration to conduct deportation hearings in secret whenever the government asserted that the people involved might be linked to terrorism. Judge Keith has also vigorously enforced the nation’s civil rights laws, most notably in the areas of employment and education.  In Stamps v. Detroit Edison Co., Judge Keith ruled the Detroit Edison Company had practiced systematic racial discrimination, resulting in fines against the company of $4 million and against the employee union of $250,000, and issued an order for the company to institute an aggressive affirmative action program.  These are just a few of the many cases in which Judge Keith has ruled on, but he has earned a reputation as an independent federal judge who would stand up to Presidents when they went against the Constitution. Throughout his career he has received many awards and honorary degrees that honor his distinguished career. This information was provided by the Damon J. Keith Collection at the Wayne State University Law School. For more information visit http://keithcollection.wayne.edu/about/bio.html.

This photo, by Sonny Edwards Photography, was taken sometime between 1960 and 1968. Judge Keith is second from the left with his arm around the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is unknown who the other two men are in the photo.

Photograph courtesy of Judge Damon Keith and the Collections and Exhibitions department of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (http://chwmuseum.org). Research, caption and scanning by Derek Thomas Sojda.  For more information please contact the Louise Lovett Wright Library and Robert L. Hurst Research Center at (313) 494-5840 or via email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For this and other informative posts, please visit http://chwmuseum.org/explore/blog.

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MetroParent's Going Places Video

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on Wednesday, 26 January 2011
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Check out this cool video by MetroParent Magazine on their visit to the museum this past Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:


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Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”—The Detroit Connection, Part II

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“I have a dream this afternoon that one day, right here in Detroit, Negroes will be able to buy a house or rent a house anywhere that their money will carry them and they will be able to get a job.”

For people familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s abiding “I Have a Dream” speech delivered in Washington, D.C., that section about Detroit may not ring a bell. On June 23, 1963 at a rally in Detroit, King concluded his speech with this Detroit version of “I Have a Dream”, which would later be tailored for the entire nation. What’s even more notable about this Detroit version is that it contained not only visions of the end of Jim Crow that would be the cornerstone of the Washington speech later that year, but it also included visions of the abolishment of economic inequalities in the North, which was quite relevant to Detroit.


We should never underestimate the power of a vision. Before Michelle Obama became First Lady, she gave a rousing speech while campaigning for her husband. She asked the crowd to close their eyes and visualize Barack Obama in the White House, and that vision did come to pass.


Even in today’s challenging times, Dr. King’s vision guides us. “I Have a Dream” is powerful because it teaches us how to collectively visualize a better world, to make things happen because we can all envision the same goal. That gift from him will never fail us.


Heather Buchanan-Gueringer is the Chair of the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Commemorative Breakfast. She is the author of "Creation Beliefs," part of the Museum’s permanent collection, “And Still We Rise.” Heather is a professor at the College for Creative Studies and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. A native Detroiter, Heather is the owner of Aquarius Press and former COO of the Wayne County Council for Arts, History & Humanities. She is also a member of the Museum’s Women’s Committee.

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Friday Photo History: Labor March

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on Friday, 14 January 2011
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PH311_01

This is a photo from the Horace L. Sheffield Collection, credited to photographer Jim Yardley. If you recall, Mr. Sheffield was a prominent player in our labor-themed September photo blog. To refresh, Mr. Sheffield was an incredibly prominent labor leader for the UAW. His vision and relentlessness was very important to the civil rights movement and obtaining equal rights within the work place. It is unknown where this march took place. During the 1960s labor and civil rights marches were happening with such frequency and in so many cities that this can be from any one of those locals or dates. In analyzing the rest of the Sheffield collection, I would venture that this march took place in Washington D.C. because there are other photos of a labor march that took place there. The joining of hands while marching was a sign of solidarity between workers, and African-Americans and whites. If you look very closely to the very far left, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. walks right next to Mr. Sheffield.

 

Collection: Horace L. Sheffield Collection; date: 1960 - 1968.  Photograph courtesy of the Collections and Exhibitions department of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (http://chwmuseum.org).  Research, caption and scanning by Derek Thomas Sojda.  For more information please contact the Louise Lovett Wright Library and Robert L. Hurst Research Center at (313) 494-5840 or via email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For this and other informative posts, please visit http://chwmuseum.org/explore/blog.  Image and content copyright Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, all rights reserved.

 

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Friday Photo History: A Preacher at the Pulpit

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This month we celebrate Martin Luther King Day on January 17, so the photo blog will focus on civil rights. In the subsequent weeks we will posting other photos from the museum archives that highlight the struggle.

We as a country have come a long way from the early days of the movement, but there is still work to be done. There are things that still need to change and happen for America to be truly united as Mr. King had hoped for. Division is not always race related. It can be because of belief, economic status, or other differences people share. As a city, region, state, and country we need to unite and come together as people. The progress and growth of our environment depends on it. Martin Luther King may be gone from the Earth but his words and lessons will eternally remain.

This is a photo from the P.H. Polk collection. P.H. Polk (1898-1985) was the official photographer of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama. At Tuskegee, Polk chronicled campus life, capturing scenes of social, historical, and artistic significance and recording for posterity images of Tuskegee President Booker T. Washington, professor George Washington Carver, the celebrated Tuskegee Airmen, Eleanor Roosevelt (an early supporter of the Institute), boxing legend Joe Louis, renowned bass-baritone and activist for social justice Paul Robeson, and many other prominent individuals. Many of his most famous pictures are of Tuskegee locals to whom he referred as “Old Characters." This Photo of MLK was taken sometime in the 1960s. The location and context of the photo are unknown. To me it looks like it could be a church or hall. The photographer's signature can be seen in the left corner.

Thanks to the Birmingham (Alabama) Museum of Art for the information on P.H. Polk.


Collection: P.H. Polk collection; date: 1960 - 1968.  Photograph courtesy of the Collections and Exhibitions department of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (http://chwmuseum.org).  Research, caption and scanning by Derek Thomas Sojda.  For more information please contact the Louise Lovett Wright Library and Robert L. Hurst Research Center at (313) 494-5840 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For this and other informative posts, please visit http://chwmuseum.org/explore/blog.  Image and content copyright Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, all rights reserved.

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