Another Ann Arbor’s mission is to nurture a sense of community and to be a resource for individuals, organizations, and youth. We present information that is local in focus, relevant to our community, and easily accessible. Our goal is to create a participatory community that reflects the culture and concerns of African Americans in Washtenaw County. The project seeks to address the problem of the digital divide by providing a site that is locally focused, interactive, and of particular interest to the community. The site provides youth and people of all ages opportunities to become comfortable and involved with the Internet by encouraging community participation.
When you think of the Ann Arbor area, certain images come to mind: the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, football Saturdays, Depot Town, the farmers’ market. But for many of us the Ann Arbor area also calls up images of historic Brown Chapel, the NAACP, the annual Debutante Ball, and the Community Center.
There really is Another Ann Arbor, with its own history, culture, and current concerns.
- Started in 1984 by Lola Jones and Carol Gibson.
- Produced a local TV Program from 1984 to 1995.
- Produced 3 Documentaries which are available at the Ann Arbor District Library (Call Number 305.4wo).
- Records the heritage and achievements of African-Americans in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti communities.
- Archived historical tapes are lodged at the Bentley Historical Library.
- Produced 3 documentaries.
- Hosted such guests as:
- Jesse Jackson
- Earl Graves
- Susan Taylor
- Marva Collins
- Gloria Naylor
- Produced a songbook of traditional Christmas carols.
- Launched anotherannarbor.org
In 1984, Lola Jones and Carol Gibson, a mother-daughter team, created a weekly television program to relate the stories of Blacks in this area. From 1984-1995, the program showcased the talents and achievements of local people. Guests on the program included historians A.P. Marshal and Coleman Jewett, former mayor Albert Wheeler, businessmen John Barfield and Jim Bradley, musicians Louis Smith and Ron Brooks, artists Earl Jackson and Jon Lockard, educators Joseph Dulin and Thomas Fleming — and many others.
In addition to the weekly broadcasts, Another Ann Arbor has produced three documentaries. “A Woman’s Town” was funded through a grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. This documentary tells the history of Blacks in Ann Arbor as seen through the eyes of five older women. This documentary was placed in the Library of Congress by Congressman Carl Pursell.
“A Change Was in the Air” documents the civil rights period in Ann Arbor, including the famous BAM strike on campus, the Black English case, the equal housing ordinance and school busing to achieve racial balance. A third documentary, “Take it to the Top”, is a motivational piece which shows the careers of young adults who grew up in Ann Arbor and are enjoying successful careers here.
The Documentaries “A Change Was in the Air” and “A Woman’s Town” can be checked out of the Ann Arbor District Library. Their call number is 305.4wo.
In November 1996, Another Ann Arbor published a song-book of traditional Christmas Carols. “The African American Christmas Sing” is a treasured collection of Christmas spirituals retrieved and preserved for our children and our children’s children.
In 2001 Another Ann Arbor launched an African American community website to encourage use of the Internet by African Americans in the Washtenaw County. The project seeks to address the problem of the digital divide by providing a site that is locally focused, interactive, and of particular interest to the community. The site provides youth and people of all ages an opportunity to become comfortable and involved with the Internet by providing a site that encourages community participation.
Another Ann Arbor has also parnered with the Saturday Academy at Clague Middle School to teach computer and technology classes to minority youth in Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Another Ann Arbor is supported in part by a grant from the Global Program on Youth, and administered by the University of Michigan School of Social Work.