Dictator of Detroit throws out historic book collection

Protests Sparked in Detroit Over the Dumping of Black History Books
Zach Schonfeld
Jul 9, 2013

A Detroit area school district has erupted in protest over the discarding of a historic book collection that is said to contain more than 10,000 black history volumes, included films, videos, and other artifacts. The blame, according to residents of Highland Park, a small city surrounded on nearly all sides by Detroit, belongs to Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon, who claims the collection was thrown out by mistake but that the district cannot afford to preserve it. Yesterday, angry residents held a public protest, blocking traffic, wielding megaphones, and displaying picket signs with slogans like “21st Century Hitler Burning Books” and “Dump The EM, Not The Books”—referring to the state-appointed emergency manager.

Among the picketers was Deblon Jackson, a Detroit-area musician.

“The emergency manager had been in the district for over a year and then they decided to throw away all the black artifacts—books that were no longer in print or published, all kinds of tapes and catalogues,” Jackson explained to The Atlantic Wire. “We want to preserve those artifacts so our children have something to look back on. We’re just mad about it and we’re not going to stand for it, just throwing away our history like that.”

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