WSW: A "Mixed Bag" for Race and Detroit
Reverend Wendell Anthony has seen a lot to change as President of the Detroit Chapter of the NAACP. But he sees many challenges and opportunities remaining.
Anthony will deliver the keynote address for the Convocation at Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College Monday morning at 10:50. It is part of a series of events at Western Michigan, K-College and in the community to honor the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior. This month Anthony will begin his 12th term as President of the NAACP's Detroit chapter.
Almost 47 years after King was assassinated in Memphis, Anthony says there are signs of progress. Those include African-Americans such as President Obama and Michigan Congressman John Conyers in important positions of leadership. But Anthony says he's concerned about issues like education and voting rights for African-Americans.
A new Emergency Manager was recently appointed for the Detroit Public Schools. Anthony is part of a new coalition to work on education in Detroit. He says the group comes from many backgrounds and have very different ideas on education. Anthony says the group is trying to put differences aside to reach agreement on education. But he says emergency managers are a short-term solution to long-term systemic problems.
Education will still be among the underlying issues facing Detroit as the city emerges from bankruptcy. Anthony and the NAACP opposed the appointment of an emergency manager for the city. He says the city should have been in control of the process. Anthony says downtown Detroit is coming back. But he says the city's neighborhoods are key. Anthony says there should not be "two Detroits."
Anthony calls Detroit's situation a "mixed bag." He says there are many good things happening in the city. Anthony says Detroit can serve as an example to other cities facing problems of a large urban area.