Randal Jelks on “Arc Of Justice” the Great Michigan Read

We were honored to host Dr. Randal Jelks from the University of Kansas as part of our program series on the Michigan Humanities Council’s Great Michigan Read, Arc of Justice by Kevin Boyle.

Dr. Jelks talked about African American migration to Grand Rapids and early civil rights cases. He also discussed the local case of the African American doctor, Emmet Bolden, who in 1925 refused to sit in the balcony of the Keith Theatre. The case went to the Michigan Supreme Court which upheld the principle of civil rights by requiring theatres to provide integrated seating. Dr. Jelks tied this local case in with the 1925 Ossian Sweet case that Arc of Justice deals with. Dr. Jelks’ talk was riveting and those who missed, can listen to the podcast here:


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