Every city has a story, and every big city has and had its struggles throughout time when it comes to equality. On February 22, the public is invited to take part in a very special presentation hosted at the Grand Rapids Public Museum called "The History of Grand Rapids in Black and Brown: A Conversation."
The virtual presentation will focus on the history of Grand Rapids from the perspective of Black and Brown. The presentation will feature three panelists, Dr. Randal Maurice Jelks, Dr. Todd Robinson, and Dr. Delia Fernandez.
These three historians will discuss the history of Grand Rapids from the perspective of Black and Brown, concluding with a question and answer period. Below are the descriptions of their credentials according to GRPM's website:
The publication of African Americans in the Furniture City: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Grand Rapids by Dr. Randal Maurice Jelks challenged the prevailing histories of Grand Rapids that it was an all-white, all-American city overly determined by a small privileged elite.
Following the publication of Jelks's book, Dr. Todd Robinson, A City Within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan expanded historical insights into the city and how Black communities attempted to address paternalism and managerial racism used to keep communities subordinated.
In 2015, Dr. Delia Fernandez, a native of Grand Rapids, completed her Ph.D. dissertation at The Ohio State University titled From Spanish-Speaking to Latino: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in West Michigan, 1924-1978, which is the groundwork of her new book, Latinos Against the Grain: Mexican and Puerto Rican Migration, Placemaking, and Activism in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The presentation will take place at 6 p.m. via ZOOM and is offered free of charge, but registration is required.
Register and learn more at grpm.org.