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MLK event looks at segregation of UM's first Black students

House Party at Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Epsilon chapter), May 1927
From the collection of UM's African American Students Project
House Party at Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Epsilon chapter), May 1927

An MLK event planned on the University of Michigan campus today will be focusing on the racial make-up of U-M students – starting with when the first African American student attended the university in 1853.

The panel discussion on Michigan’s campus will focus on the U-M African American Student project created by the Bentley Historical Library on campus.

The project collected data on Black U-M students from 1853 to 1970.

U-M History Professor Angela Dillard, who helped organize the event, says the discussion of the data will also lead to a personal discussion about the racial divide in the Washtenaw County community over the years.

“A lot of spaces in Ann Arbor were fairly segregated, and we are now able to track a lot of that information through the records."

Among the speakers will be several U-M Black alumni who lived through the segregated period at the university. The panel discussion will take place at Michigan Union’s Pendleton Room this afternoon (Monday 1/16/23) from 2-4 pm.

This is a link to the African American Student Project compiled by U-M's Bentley Historical Library.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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