Sonya Bernard Hollins | WMUK

Sonya Bernard Hollins

Courtesy of Sonya Bernard-Hollins

Sonya Bernard-Hollins once produced a coloring book about prominent Black graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools, among them former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Now she’s at it again—this time she’s created a coloring book of firsts of Kalamazoo African-American women and a similar coloring book of firsts about local African-American men. And she’s involved her all-girls Merze Tate Explorers travel and community-service group in the project.

Merze Tate in Greece
courtesy of Sonya Bernard Hollins


Sonya Bernard Hollins says she couldn’t shake the name Merze Tate, and has been following it ever since. 

Merze Tate: The WMU, Oxford Alum Who Broke Barriers

Jan 30, 2015
Merze Tate receiving her doctorate from Western Michigan University
courtesy of Sonya Bernard Hollins

While many African Americans in the 1920s and 30s were fighting for basic rights, Western Michigan University alum Merze Tate was traveling the world and attending colleges like Oxford University.