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Former social studies teacher offers black history tours of Detroit

Posted: 4:44 AM, Feb 04, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-04 07:03:42-05

DETROIT — “This history has been hidden, and it has been in front of us, but we haven’t seen it and it is my job to make it not invisible but visible,” said Jason Jordan.

Jordan spent two decades in the classroom as a social studies teacher in and around metro Detroit.

“I began to find out that my middle school students were missing a lot of African American history, but especially Detroit's African American history,” said Jordan.

So Jordan left the classroom life behind to take his lessons out on the streets. He started The Black Scroll Network History and Tours to educate people on Black history in Detroit.

Here are just a few landmarks he tours:

  • Detroit Association of Women’s Clubs – Founded by Dr. Rosa Gragg, originally the Association of Colored Women’s Club. When Dr. Gragg bought the home it had a racial covenant on it, forbidding African Americans from owning homes on Ferry Street between Brush and Woodward. To work around the covenant, she blocked in the front door, closed in the front porch, and built a new door on Brush Street to keep the home.
  • Lewis College of Business – When the college first opened its doors in 1941, there were little opportunities for woman of color to obtain an education and career training. Violet Lewis saw a need in the community and opened the school in 1941. After 35 years the school eventually closed, but remains a historical landmark on Meyers Road in Detroit.
  • Dunbar Hospital – Located on Fredrick Street and St. Antoine, this was the first non-profit Black-owned hospital in the city of Detroit. During the great migration, African Americans were coming to Detroit for better opportunities. Most of the hospitals did not admit Black patients. This was the first hospital to see those patients.

To sign up for a tour, you can visit his website or reach out to him on Facebook. Rates vary depending on what type of tour you want to schedule. Group tours are also an option.