Black History Collection Found in Michigan Dumpster

Friday, June 28, 2013
Donald Weatherspoon (photo: MLive)

Local residents of Highland Park, Michigan, were shocked to learn recently that a large collection of black history materials were found in a dumpster behind a school.


Among the unexpected refuse were books, tapes, film strips and other materials that were previously part of the school district’s high school library.


Emergency manager Donald Weatherspoon said workers had mistakenly tossed the collection, but that the district managed to recover them in time.


Some people questioned whether that was true, given that residents reportedly found about 1,000 pieces of material on their own, according to the Detroit Free Press. Some of them were almost a century old. Also in the dumpster were bank and tax documents with personal information.


Weatherspoon, meanwhile, has no plans to keep the collection, saying the district doesn’t have the resources to maintain them. He said the recovered materials will be sorted and given to a library or a museum.


He added that The Leona Group, the charter management company that began operating schools in the district a year ago, was already offered the books and kept what they wanted.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

African-American History Books were Tossed by Mistake, Official Says (by Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press)

Highland Park Historical Items Tossed in Dumpster (by Will Jones, Click On Detroit)

Michigan Town Shuts Down Street Lights to Settle Unpaid Bills (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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