Taste of Soul Sunday: Learn


Growing Up in Auburn Hills

1:30 pm
Adult Computer Training Center | Lower Level

Local community leaders Beverly Grant and Ellen James will reflect on their experiences growing up in the Auburn Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids. Auburn Hills was developed on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids in the 1960’s by black community leaders, Dr. Julius Franks, Jr., Joseph W. Lee, J.E. Adams, Jr. and Samuel Triplett, who persisted in developing the subdivision in spite of segregation, institutional racism and strong opposition from neighbors and other community leaders. Grant and James will be joined by Jennifer Metz of Past Perfect, Inc. and Mary Edmond, a retired educator who began teaching in the Grand Rapids Public Schools in the 1960’s. They will provide perspectives on historical patterns of housing segregation in Grand Rapids and the obstacles faced by the developers of Auburn Hills. This segment will also feature a first look at some media content from “Auburn Hills – History of Racial Equity in Grand Rapids” from Jeremy Moore, Joel VanKuiken, Kyle Lim and Denise Evans.


The Auburn Hills Neighborhood: Race and Grand Rapids from Past to Present

3:00 pm
Adult Computer Training Center | Lower Level

The development of the Auburn Hills Neighborhood in northeast Grand Rapids was a pivotal event in the history of Grand Rapids. Jeremy Moore and Kyle Lim will show video clips from their interviews with Auburn Hills residents, recorded as part of their ongoing “Auburn Hills – History of Racial Equity in Grand Rapids” series to be featured in the Rapidian. These clips will be used as a launching point for a panel discussion of racial equity in present day Grand Rapids, with panelists Darel Ross of LINC, Paula Triplett of Auburn Hills, Sonya Hughes of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and Denise Evans from Strong Beginnings.

The Auburn Hills programs are sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, Greater Grand Rapids Racial Equity Network, and LINC Community Revitalization.

coy davis

Whatever Happened to Idlewild?

1:30 pm & 3:00 pm
Youth Computer Training Center | Level 2

Coy Davis Jr. will present his documentary Whatever Happened to Idlewild. Once called “The Black Las Vegas,” Idlewild was a place where African Americans could vacation and relax during America’s segregated Jim Crow era. It was an active community from the 1920s through the 1960s and was visited by well-known entertainers and professionals from all over the country. A brief discussion with follow the film.

Crowley Headshot 2

Storyteller John Steven Crowley

2:15 pm & 3:45 pm
Quiet Study Room | Lower Level

Award-winning storyteller and actor John Steven Crowley will perform stories set in Michigan and Chicago during the Great Migration, Civil Rights, and Black Power movements. Stories include “Up the Road a Piece,” “1968,” and “Dr. Daniel Hale Williams Comes to Idlewild.”

African American Women and Quilts

Exploring African American Quilts

2:15 pm & 3:45 pm
Vander Veen Center for the Book | Level 4

Aleia Brown is a doctoral resident at the MSU Museum, where she works with the quilt collection and archives to write a dissertation on black women quilters and their work. Her presentation explores the Cuesta Benberry Quilt and Ephemera Collection. Presenting the diversity in African American quilts, it will introduce narrative quilts, portrait quilts and more. Through quilt images, the program will also highlight how both oral and pictorial traditions contributed to African American history. These quilts are inspiring, creative and thought provoking.