We have not done enough. In the wake of the police violence against George Floyd and those killed before him, the Michigan History Center renews its commitment to racial and social justice by seeking out and sharing the stories of the past that can help us all understand the impact of systems that create and condone police brutality and other forms of racial oppression. We need to do more to contribute to the work that dismantles those systems.
Michigan's past and present include stories of oppression-the 1866 lynching of John Taylor in Ingham County, the 1992 beating death of an unarmed Malice Green outside a Detroit drug store. They also include the inspiring stories of William Lambert, who, in 1843, convened the state's first public convention to advocate for the rights of Michigan African American citizens, as well as of New Detroit, Focus:HOPE and the numerous activist and social justice organizations that were born after the 1967 Detroit rebellion.
In solidarity with those who grieve and those who protest for justice and reform, we commit to making racial and social equity a priority in all our efforts to collect, preserve and share Michigan stories. We commit to joining you in learning from our collective past to spark healing and change. We will start by expanding inclusion in our Collecting COVID-19, StoryCorps and digital initiatives. We commit to continuing this work until we can truly say that we live in a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal.
- Sandra Clark, Director, and the management team of the Michigan History Center