Evening Sessions: Sarah E. Ray: Detroit's Other Rosa Parks

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Educational, Lectures

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The Evening Sessions

Join us on Zoom for this virtual program!  It will also be live streamed in the Kantzler Community Room at the Alice & Jack Wirt Library for anyone to drop in to view.  The Evening Sessions is a monthly adult program series featuring a fun and engaging mix of presentations, lectures, workshops, demonstrations, author visits, and performances on topics covering the arts, culture, history, science, and more!

Join Desiree Cooper and Aaron Schillinger as they present the Sarah E. Ray Project

Seventy-five years ago a 24-year-old, African American secretary was denied a seat on the segregated Boblo boat, SS Columbia. Like Rosa Parks, she refused to back down, taking her fight for integration all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Represented by fabled NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall, Ray won her case. Scholars argue that she paved the way for the seminal, 1954 Brown v. Board of Education, which found that separate was inherently unequal. 

SER video promo square

Ray's abandoned home on the eastside of Detroit was named one of America's '11 Most Endangered Historic Sites' by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in June 2021. Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, and community activist. Schillinger is a filmmaker whose documentary Boblo Boats: A Detroit Ferry Tale screened to a sold-out crowd at the 2021 Freep Film Festival and was awarded the ‘Hometown Talent’ Award. 

SER looks up at Boblo boat
SER with newspaper


Registration is required.  Please register in person, by phone, or online.