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Racial History Opening Eyes of Elderly Michigander

Posted to MichiganNow.org on Thursday, October 13, 2011

Norma Stagray was born and raised in Sebawaing, Michigan. On Tuesday, she was sitting in the waiting room of Morgan’s  auto repair shop in downtown Bay City.  She was passing the time reading ‘Arc of Justice.’

It’s the story of Dr. Ossian Sweet who went on trial for murder in Detroit in the 1920’s. He had moved into a white middle class neighborhood. But neighbors threw stones and epithets for several days.   Sweet stocked arms that friends used to defend him from within the house.

The story reveals the laws, neighborhood real estate covenants set by whites and injustice that existed well before the riots of 1967.

Chris McCarus happened to walk in to the shop. He did not know Stagway beforehand. He recorded this conversation.

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