Things are happening in Albion and sometimes it is good for neighbors to talk with each other. There are discussions on the app Nextdoor about Albion’s city government, services, special events and more.
Anyone can join NextDoor.com, but only people from Albion can see the discussions about Albion. It’s free. This app also helps during times when it is helpful to know who is raking leaves, shoveling snow, who lost their dog, who has lost their power and other neighborhood issues.
The Albion-Marshall Resilient Communities Project is an exciting opportunity to build relationships, address implicit bias, and embrace our Oneness. This project was born out of the work done within the schools over the past four years as Albion and Marshall students began to attend school together. Building on the successes of our children, who have shown tremendous courage and growth, it is now time for the adults in our communities to enter into dialogue with one another and begin the process of our own healing.
It was 47 years ago, another time, but not another place. Albion Michigan is recognized on CBS News, national tv by our favorite broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite, for its efforts to work towards a more sustainable future.
The story tells of Albion’s population being 14,000 and taking a claim to be “Manufacturing Town USA.” Albion’s population is now 8,534, and we think of ourselves more of a college town now, since much has changed.
For the past several years, the Albion branch NAACP has hosted a Back to School – Stay in School Backpack giveaway event for students attending Albion Public Schools.
This year was different as the former Albion Public Schools is now a part of Marshall Public Schools. Harrington School had been closed for almost three years and this year was able to reopen due to the annexation.
The Education committee of Albion NAACP coordinated their annual event with the open house for Harrington School, which happened in August 2016.
The event was a major success, with an estimated 300 backpacks given away. There were several other organizations at the event also, who provided free information and giveaways regarding health, volunteer opportunities, academic support, and resources for students and their families.
At the Harrington School Open House, on the same day as the backpack giveaway, there was a special flag raising ceremony by the Albion American Legion. There was a very good turnout with hundred of people coming to see the newly refurbished Harrington School.
The public was invited to the grand opening of the newly installed West Ward School History panels in Holland Park at on Saturday, Aug. 13th 2016.
As part of the Holland Park Transformation, a Michigan Humanities Council Heritage grant was awarded to the City of Albion and Albion College to display the West Ward School story. For this project, historians Robert Wall, Leslie Dick, and Dr. Wesley Arden Dick interviewed more than 20 former West Ward students. This history will be a permanent exhibit on History Hill in Holland Park. Park visitors will be able to access the Albion West Ward School website to discover more and to hear the voices of the West Ward students.
West Ward Elementary School was built in 1873. For 45 years, its students were primarily the children of white, European immigrants who worked in the nearby iron foundries. European immigration was cut off during World War I, and the Albion Malleable Iron Company sent a recruiter south to Pensacola, Florida. In November of 1916, almost 100 years ago, 64 African American men arrived at the Albion railroad depot, ready to go to work at “The Malleable.” Soon, their wives and children arrived, posing a question: where would their children attend school? At first, those children were educated at an Albion African American church. When Dalrymple Elementary School was completed in January of 1918, the white West Ward School children were transferred to the new school and West Ward became an all-Black elementary school.
Previously, the African American children had been educated in the segregated, Jim Crow South in all-Black schools. The only way the new arrivals would have Black teachers in Albion in 1918 was to make West Ward a segregated school. Although segregated public education was against Michigan law, West Ward remained an all-Black school until 1953. While African American parents and community leaders initially favored the segregated arrangement, racial attitudes concerning justice and achieving the American Dream changed over time. By 1953, key Black parents considered West Ward to be “separate, but unequal,” and they kept their children out of school that fall. This led to a showdown with the Albion Board of Education. Confronted by the boycott and threatened by an NAACP lawsuit, the Board ended classes at West Ward in October of 1953. The West Ward story thus changed from northern segregation to an Albion Civil Rights movement. After the school was closed, it was tor! n down, and the school grounds became a city park, which was later dedicated in honor of Robert Holland, Sr., one of the boycott leaders. West Ward is a reminder that Albion’s story is America’s story.
The historical display was made possible by a Heritage Grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.
We see changes happening in Albion, and many of them have to do with Albion College.
At the College one of the big new things is the Davis Athletic Complex, that is near the corner of East Erie Street and Hannah Street. The complex was made possible by a generous gift from Bud and Ruby Davis to the college.
Author talk at the historic Bohm Theatre in downtown Albion
7 p.m. Tuesday, November 1, 2016
The award winning author Rita Williams-Garcia will speak on the power of community, and how the history of the United States, the struggle, brutality, injustice, hope, progress, and triumph affect us all. Ms. Williams-Garcia is from New York City and has a biography in Wikipedia that can be read by clicking here.
If you are coming from out of town for this talk, get here early to get a seat. Enjoy the beautiful Bohm Theatre at this free event. Maybe have dinner in Albion before the event at Cascarelli’s, Charlies, Gina’s, or Lopez Taco House. Learn more about Albion Big Read by clicking here.
ALBION, MI – October 26, 2016 – Albion’s Big Read would like to invite you to celebrate our town, our young people, and the community-making power of reading. Please join us on November 1, 2016 at 7:00pm in the Bohm Theater (201 S. Superior Str.) as we recognize the 2016 BIG READ LEADERS and hear from Coretta Scott King Award-winning author RITA WILLIAMS-GARCIA.
Albion’s Big Read Leaders certainly give us reason to celebrate. These local 8th-10th graders completed a summer-long program that prepared them to lead discussions about Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as a part of this year’s Big Read. And that is what they’ve done. They have already led six wonderfully different and enriching discussions that were open to the public and will lead one more on Sunday, October 30. (For details, visit www.albionbigread.org/events.)
This year’s Big Read Leaders are Carl Bates, Emmylou Roberts Christensen, Denisha Harris, Kei’Asianique Hill, Larenz Hill, Ian Lee, Cedriana March, Deonta March, Cassie Porter, Autumn Sisler, Sylvia Sisler, Fred Steward, Ta’Jyanna Steward, Terek Straham, A’Veion Washington, Danielle Washington, Jason Whetstone, and Da’Sani White.
There to help us honor these amazing young people will be RITA WILLIAMS-GARCIA, a middle-grade and young-adult author who knows the power of community and the rich lives of young people. In novels like One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven, and Gone Crazy in Alabama, Ms. Williams-Garcia looks with clear and unflinching eyes at the history of the United States. In them, her child characters both discover and reveal that the histories of black, white, and brown people in the United States “speak of and intersect through stories of struggle, brutality, injustice, hope, progress, and triumph.” Her books make clear that “very few of us on this soil can claim a separate and sole history. We are a joined people.”
Please come be a part of this joyful celebration at 7:00pm on November 1, 2016 at the Bohm Theater (201 S. Superior Str., Albion MI).