1869 : State Court Orders Integration of Detroit Schools

October 11, 2018 all-day

On October 11, 1869, black children were admitted to the Detroit Public Schools for the first time. Detroit’s black residents had been fighting for educational opportunities since the state established whites-only schools in the 19th Century. Black successfully appealed for their own school and one was opened in Detroit in 1841.

Following Emancipation, blacks in northern states litigated Jim Crow laws. Those in Detroit sued over segregated schools and the state’s supreme court ordered integration.


Richard W. Thomas, Life for Us Is What We Make It: Building Black Community in Detroit, 1915-1945 (1992)     Also available online.

Detroit Divided (2000), by Reynolds Farley, Sheldon Danziner,  and Harry Holzer.

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