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



Talking "Soul on Air" on WCHB with Billy T., Cliff Russell,  John Mason, Ken Bell and Jay Butler


Good times with great friends: History Lives Book Discussion and Signing hosted by Marilyn and Gerald W. Smith. 




To Pre-order Soul on Air click the "Add to Cart" button




To Pre-order "On This Day" click the "Add to Cart" button




                    To Pre-order "Million Dollars Worth of Nerve"                                                  click the "Add to Cart" button                               






"Soul on Air" profiles more than 30 past and present radio personalities, including "Rockin" Leroy White; Martha Jean "The Queen;" Butterball Jr.; The Electrifying Mojo; John Mason; and Frankie Darcell. It is now available at Street Corner Music in Oak Park, 26020 Greenfield Road. 

"On This Day: African American Life in Detroit," "Million Dollars Worth of Nerve" and "Soul On Air" are sold at Spectacles Detroit, 230 E. Grand River Ave. in Detroit; and Eric's I've Been Framed, 16527 Livernois Avenue, in Detroit. 

Ken Coleman brings weekly "On This Day" segment during Detroit Public Television's "American Black Journal" each Sunday at 12:30 p.m.





We're included in a new episode of "Detroit Classic" discussing Black Bottom and Paradise Valley. It airs on City of Detroit Channel 10 on the Comcast menu. 



On This Day: African-American Life in Detroit lists 1,500 facts and dozens of rare photos! 



June 20 "Soul On Air" Book Signing at Eric's I've Been Framed



April 2 Book Signing at Northwest Activities Center:         A Complete Success! 




NEW!  Read Metro Times Detroit's blog about "Soul on Air." 





NEW!   Listen to WDET-FM 101.9's report on "Soul on Air." 




NEW!  Read our Q&A with Metro Times Detroit about "Million Dollars Worth of Nerve." 



Listen to our interview on Michigan Radio's "Stateside" as it reports on the historic Brewster Homes.



Check out WWJ NewsRadio 950’s report on “Million Dollars Worth of Nerve.” 



Watch our "Million Dollars Worth of Nerve" interview on WHPR-TV's "The Brenda Perryman Show"            




“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." 



August 29:

1983 Mayor Coleman A. Young issues Executive Order 22. The directive is designed to increase local and minority
participation in construction and contracting projects that involve local taxpayer dollars.

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

Detroit Power Couples

BLAC Detroit Magazine feature




Black History: Couple Find Influences Near And Far   WWJ NewsRadio 950 feature



Historic sites in Detroit

Local 4 News feature