Taste of Soul Sunday: Learn


Ordinary Black Folks

2:15 pm & 3:30 pm
Adult Computer Training Center | Lower Level

Dr. Benjamin Wilson, emeritus professor and former director of African American Studies at Western Michigan University, will examine the lives of “ordinary Black Folks” who lived in West Michigan between 1919-1950. He will discuss the Black “southernization” of West Michigan through home remedies, food choices and beauty tips; Black resorts as rest and relaxation sites from Michigan’s racism; and the Muskegon Hotbeds. The lives of these “ordinaries” who worked, played and lived in the area will emerge and show how they shaped the African American heritage of the region.


Looking Back, Facing Forward: African American Inventors in Focus

2:15 pm & 3:30 pm
Youth Computer Training Center | Level 2

Granville T. Woods was born in 1856 and became the first African American mechanical and electrical engineer. Self taught, he invented many items and filed more than 40 patents. Among his best inventions are the induction telegraph, a steam boiler furnace, and an elevator signaling device. This communications and transportation pioneer even laid the foundation for wireless communication, electric motor regulation and electric transportation. Join David L. Head as he takes on the persona of this engineering genius and presents Wood’s life in 3-D, highlighting his pivotal role in modernizing our society.

Photo Credit: Lauren Jeziorski