One of the largest slave auctions before the Civil War — alternately called The Great Slave Auction or The Weeping Time — took place 158 years ago today. Pierce M. Butler inherited the slaves from his grandfather and namesake, Major Pierce Butler. The elder Butler no longer spoke to his son, so he willed his property to his 2 grandsons, one of which was Pierce. The younger Pierce was a bad businessman and a worse gambler. Eventually creditors forced him to sell off his assets. When the land wasn’t enough to settle his extensive gambling debts, Butler agreed to sell his human ...
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    Gordon Lightfoot’s autograph on a picture of my father’s store taken in Detroit on THE “Black Day In July,” 1967. A question I have been asked repeatedly since Monday night is “Did you think you’d be seeing riots so many years after the the ’60s?” My answer is both “yes” and “no.”  While I’m not an authority on riots, I did write The Detroit Riots ► Unpacking My Detroit ► Part Five, an investigative look at Motown’s several Race Riots, beginning with the first in 1863. The other reasons I get asked such a question is because of my studying of Race ...
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    The Coconut Grove Playhouse anchors one corner of Charles Avenue, where it dead-ends at Main Highway History is complicated, real estate history even more so. At one time all the land at the east end of Charles Avenue in Coconut Grove was owned by E.W.F. Stirrup, one of Florida’s first Black millionaires. In fact, Mr. Stirrup once owned most of Coconut Grove, the irony being 33133 is now considered one of ‘Merka’s most exclusive area codes. To honour history I propose the Coconut Grove Playhouse name be changed to the E.W.F. Stirrup Theater. Follow along: Back in the day, when a man of Mr. ...
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    The flyer handed out by the protestors. Thursday night was another night for divided loyalties and for putting things into stark relief. Let me explain. In Coral Gables protestors from West Grove were expected to gather at 6PM to protest Trolleygate at the Coral Gables Mayoral Debate at 7PM. Also at 7PM, 3-and-a-half miles away, the Coconut Grove Village Council were expected to gather for its oft-delayed regular monthly meeting.* Trolleygate is a promised agenda item at the CGVC. What to do, what to do? The only viable solution: Go to both, like I did last month with the Coconut Grove Playhouse ...
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