In the 1796 Detroit census both slaves and free African Americans are listed. The abolitionist movement was strong and the part of a "underground railroad" ran through Michigan. In 1855 the state passed a "personal liberty law" blocking the recovery of fugitive slaves. The automobile industry attracted African Americans to Detroit in the 1900s.
The Burton Historical Collection has African American records. For further reading, see:
- Melvin E. Banner, Black Pioneer in Michigan (Midland, Mich.: Pendall Publ., 1973. WorldCat entry.
- Reginald Larrie, Black Experiences in Michigan History. Lansing, Mich.: MI History Div., 1975. WorldCat entry.
- State Archives of Michigan, Circular No. 29, African-Americans. Lansing, Mich.: SAM, 2002.
- ↑ Alice Eichholz, ed., Red book : American state, county and town sources (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 343. (FHL 973 D27rb). WorldCat entry.