89.1 WEMU

african americans

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Geneology helps people learn more about their families and their heritage.  Yet, it can be more complicated for African American families, especially when America's history with slavery is factored in.  From there, the Washtenaw County African American Geneological Society was born.  The society's founders, Omer Jean Winborn and Cheryl Garnett, talk about this project with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The mission of the Ypsilanti-based 'Black Men Read' program is clearly stated: "We exist to promote the power of stories, storytelling and literacy to children in order to normalize the historical and cultural contributions of Black people throughout the diaspora, uplifting Black men and all of the ways that they engage in their families and communities while disrupting tropes of Black father absenteeism."  In this week's 'Washtenaw United,' you'll find out why the program is changing dynamics throughout the entirety of the community.  


Patrick Campion / 89.1 WEMU

Booker T. Washington was an integral part of African-American history, especially in the realm of education.  Washington's work inspired local photographer Noah Rucker to create an holiday designed to spread education, business, and art in the black community, which he calls "BookDay."  Rucker talks all about the most recent BookDay with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

What do you think about hip-hop music?  Do you know it has deep roots in African-American culture and many of its messages can be inspiring and uplifting?  As part of Black History Month, 89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry explores the roots and reputation of hip-hop music in Washtenaw County and efforts to incorporate it into education and its impact on the community.


Classroom
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan needs to create more opportunities for kids of color.  That’s according to advocates after a new report was released Tuesday.  The report shows that African-American kids in Michigan fare worse in areas like education than in any other state.


Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber / a2ychamber.org

It's said music has healing powers, and, later this month, the Ypsilanti Community Schools is having a special event intended to both entertain and improve the health of the community.  

We spoke with YCS superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson and Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney, CEO and Medical Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America/Michigan Chapter, about the upcoming "Jazz in the Parking Lot" event.   


Wikipedia Media Commons

An investigation is ongoing after racist graffiti was discovered early Tuesday spray painted on King Hall on the Eastern Michigan University campus. 


Bill Schuette
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

The battle surrounding straight ticket voting has taken a new turn, as Attorney General Bill Scheutte filed an emergency motion Wednesday night.


Straight ticket voting
John Bollwitt / flickr.com

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has taken the first step to appeal a court decision that lifted the state’s ban on voters using the straight-ticket option to vote for an entire party’s slate of candidates on the November ballot.