Society

Residents Furious After Detroit Area School District Throws Away Huge Black History Collection

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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A Detroit neighborhood has erupted in protest after a local school district discarded a collection of more than 10,000 black history items. The collection included books, films, and pictures from various stages of the civil rights movement in America.

The problem, first reported by the Atlantic Wire, was noted when a Highland Park, Detroit resident noticed a portion of the collection in a local dumpster. Many are blaming the book dump on district Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon says the collection was thrown out by accident, but added that it is too expensive to maintain.

“The emergency manager had been in the district for over a year and then they decided to throw away all the black artifacts—books that were no longer in print or published, all kinds of tapes and catalogues," resident Deblong Jackson said to the Atlantic Wire. 

"We want to preserve those artifacts so our children have something to look back on. We're just mad about it and we're not going to stand for it, just throwing away our history like that,” she continued.

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Residents protested the event yesterday. Signs saying “Dump the Em, Not The Books” and “21st Century Hitler Burning Books” were being held by protestors.

Almost all of the collection has been lost in dumpsters. Residents from Highland Park, a community that is 93% African-American, hope to preserve the remnants of the collection in a library or museum. But when Marcia Cotton, a member of the Highland Park Renaissance Academy Board of Directors, was asked about the lost collection, she didn’t sound too sympathetic.

"I would very much like to get above the fray of the controversy and rather discuss solutions to the looming debt crisis facing the school district, the decline in school enrollment and city population, and how best we can work with our city officials and provide a greater quality of life for our residents and quality education in a safe environment for our children," she said in an email. "We can't solve 21st century problems with 20th century tactics."

But until their dissatisfaction is recognized, protestors plan to keep protesting.

Source: The Atlantic Wire