Target: Highland Park’s Emergency Manager, Donald Weatherspoon
Goal: Allow Highland Park to keep its Black History Collection
Highland Park, Michigan is suffering a crisis regarding its Black History Collection which consists of 10,000 pieces. A thousand of those pieces, including books and videos, were found in garbage cans outside Highland Park’s high school and recovered by resident and historian Paul Lee, along with other volunteers. Sign now if you feel that the Black History Collection is a treasure that cannot be simply disposed of.
Protestors have been marching in the streets of Highland Park, many of them calling for the Emergency Manager to resign his post. Andre Davis, vice president and secretary of Highland Park’s Renaissance Academy System’s school board, stepped down because he could not agree with how Weatherspoon was choosing to run the district.
Weatherspoon himself says that the disposal of the Black History Collection was an accident. However, he has also stated that the district could not afford to house the collection. Therefore, the recovered items would be sorted and then given to libraries and museums that could keep them indefinitely.
What really angers the people of Highland Park is the fact that the collection will be leaving the district, and that this issue never came up with the previous Emergency Manager. History is an extremely valuable part of an education, especially in a school that is 93.4% African-American. Many feel that Weatherspoon’s decision to sacrifice the collection for the city’s budget is a blatant indicator of skewed priorities. Surely, there are other, less damaging ways for him to save the city’s money?
Instead of moving to donate the collection without informing the people, he should have spoken with them. Maybe then he would have been able to think of more agreeable solutions.
Dear Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon,
You can not attempt to rid a district that is mostly African-American of its vast Black History Collection and not expect repercussions. You should have spoken with the people of your district, instead of allowing them to find out about your desire to rid the district of their Black History Collection by finding that precious collection in the dumpsters.
If you wish to keep your post and your head, I suggest you put your plan to donate the collection on hold and ask the people for alternative ways the city could save money. When people protest, it is because they feel like they are being ignored. Listen to them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nobel Foundation via Wiki Commons