Book Now Available!

From Detroit-based author and former Michigan Chronicle editor


On This Day: African-American Life in Detroit

 Photo courtesy of the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State University



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NEW!  Check out WWJ NewsRadio 950’s report on “Million Dollars Worth of Nerve”  CLICK HERE:


"Million Dollars Worth of Nerve" on WHPR-TV's "The Brenda Perryman Show"  NEW!  CLICK HERE TO VIEW:


“Million Dollars Worth of Nerve”  Frequently Asked Questions

Why the title: “Millions Dollars Worth of Nerve”?

It comes from a quote by Louis E. Martin, the first editor of the Michigan Chronicle, where he talks about starting the newspaper in 1936 with “a cash budget of $135 and million dollars worth of nerve.” 

The book features 21 people. In their own right each of them challenged authority and made a way out of no way. Charles Roxborough, for example, learned the Polish language and it helped him in 1930 to become Michigan’s first black man to serve in the state Senate; Fannie B. Peck  the same year founded the first state-chartered credit union in America operated by African-Americans; Sunnie Wilson rebuffed the advice of local officials in midst Red Scare McCarthyism in 1949 and hosted the controversial activist and actor Paul Robeson.

What is the book about?

The book tells the story of Paradise Valley, Black Bottom and lower East Side communities; how they came to be; and the forces that caused their demise: systemic racism, desegregation, freeway construction and suburban sprawl.  The story is told—in part—through personality profiles of 21 Detroit residents—all of whom are African-American.

Why the focus on Black Bottom, Paradise Valley and Detroit’s Lower East Side?

Many of the happenings during the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s in these communities aren’t widely known by Millennials, whether they be white or people of color.  As a longtime Detroit resident, who was educated in Detroit Public Schools and worked there as a community relations officer, I think that’s terribly unfortunate. These men and women helped to lead our country during World War II; operated viable businesses during the Great Depression; and dined at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents.

How long did it take to write the book?

The book is self published. I took on the project just after writing my first book:  “On This Day: African-American Life in Detroit.” It took about 16 months to research and write.

How will the book be sold?

The book is available on our Web site: Spectacles Detroit, located 230 East Grand River Avenue, and Eric's I've Been Framed, located 16527 Livernois Avenue, in Detroit sell both "On This Day: African-American Life in Detroit" and "Million Dollars Worth of Nerve." 


See our weekly segment on Detroit Public TV's "American Black Journal" by clicking this Web link:  



Hear our interview with WDET's Jerome Vaughn about "On This Day: African-American Life in Detroit" by clicking this Web link:


March 2:

On This Day: African American Life in Detroit in 1990:

Carole Anne-Marie Gist Stramler, a 20-year-old Cass Technical High Schoolgraduate and Northwood University student, is crowned Miss USA during the annual event held this year in Wichita, Kansas.

Gist becomes the first African American to earn the honor in the pageant’s 38 year-old history.

1992 Malice Green, an African-American city resident, joins the ancestors after being arrested by police officers Walter

Black History: Couple Find Influences Near And Far              

WWJ NewsRadio 950 feature


Historic sites in Detroit

Local 4 story