Cass-Trumbull Community Calendar 1972
Added by Unknown 1685 on Mar 28th, 2021
Type of Work
7 × 10 in
"These calendars combine photos and quotes from members of the Cass-Trumbull community, near the Cass Corridor and Trumbull Avenue in Detroit, with inspirational quotes from figures like Sojourner Truth and Eugene Debs. The calendars commemorate important moments of worker and community resistance, for instance the Flint sit-down strike of December 1936 against General Motors, and the 1915 execution of labor activist Joe Hill. In 1970, the Cass-Trumbull community had been designated an urban renewal zone, which meant that large parts of it were slated for demoli-tion. Nearby Wayne State University was interest-ed in the land and had already torn down a large portion of the neighborhood to build Matthei Field, a recreation facility and sports field. Tensions between residents and the university grew. Wayne State had promised that facilities, such as a new swimming pool, would be made available to community members, but had begun to renege on the offer. Community organizers Sam Stark and Kae Halonen were in the neighborhood during this period. They worked with residents to pull various groups together in resistance to both Wayne State’s overreach and the city’s identification of the area for “renewal.” They hoped to help shape the redevelopment to benefit its occupants and sought out subsidies for families being resettled without compensation. Stark and Halonen described the community at that time as a diverse mix of Southern whites (many of whom had moved to Detroit from Appalachia for jobs in the automotive industry), Native American families, African American families, Wayne State students, and white artists and activists from the bohemian Cass Corridor. Stark and Halonen worked with a group called People Concerned About Urban Renewal to rally these disparate community members together and, ideally, prevent their neighbors—or themselves—from being displaced. Several of the same activists also worked on The Community Reporter, a Cass Corridor newspaper.7The calendars were a celebration of the neighborhood as a multiracial, multicultural community, as well as a fundraising tool. Stark and Halonen said that the residents developed a tight bond during this time—they planned events on Wayne State’s Matthei Field despite not being permitted to, and those who engaged in civil disobedience were arrested. There was a sense that people could work and organize together across racial lines—some of the young Appalachian white kids were a part of an integrated group called Young Pride that passed out flyers to help the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) in their bid to elect Black workers to UAW leadership at the Dodge Main plant.8Eventually, People Concerned About Urban Renewal did secure relocation money for displaced residents, but by that time, the community had scattered." The Detroit Printing Co-op by Danielle Aubert.