© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
TECHNOTE: 90.5 FM and AM870 reception

Book examines history of rural African Americans in Michigan

Courtesy of Benjamin Calvin Wilson

Throughout Michigan's history, the state's African American population is often portrayed as an urban population. But that depiction overlooks a part of Michigan’s history.

Many African Americans settled in rural areas, before and after the Civil War. In 1860, Cass County was home to more than 1,500 blacks, surprisingly that was just under the number of African Americans found in Wayne County at the time.

Dr. Benjamin Wilson is a professor  emeritus of history at Western Michigan University. He's  co-author of the book  “Black Eden: TheIdlewildCommunity” and "The Rural Black Heritage Between Chicago and Detroit,1850-1929."  Dr. Wilson sits down with Current State’s Emanuele Berry, and explains why a native Floridian took interest in Michigan's rural African American heritage.

Related Content
To help strengthen our local reporting as WKAR's fiscal year ends, we need 75 new or upgraded sustainers by June 30th. Become a new monthly donor or increase your donation to support the trustworthy journalism you'll rely on before Election Day. Donate now.