• Recommended Reading: A Stronger Kinship

A Stronger KinshipA Stronger Kinship tells an amazing story of post Civil War times in Covert, Michigan.  In this small little town, blacks and whites more than co-existed.  They lived in a community that was remarkably integrated.  The following description is from the companion website to the book: 

A hundred and fifty years ago in the heartland of the United States, amidst a roaring sea of racism and hatred, a community decided that there could be a different America. In this place, schools and churches were completely integrated, blacks and whites intermarried, and power and wealth were shared by both races. In order for this to happen, the citizens of this place had to keep secrets, to break the laws of the outside world, to sweep aside fear and embrace hope.

This, in a region made up of small close-knit communities that were often intolerant, if not outright hostile, to difference. This, in a region where ethnic and racial minorities had to keep to themselves to survive. This, in a time when the rest of the nation slid into the arms of Jim Crow.

This community was Covert, Michigan, and its history is a powerful one. Covert is a testimony to the fact that despite a history filled with violence, hate, and injustice, there was a place where ordinary black and white Americans treated each other as equals and as friends. Covert was not a theoretical utopia; it was a very human community, but A Stronger Kinship is the story of the extraordinary acts of ordinary people.

All Things considered ran a story on Covert, Michigan in December 2006, which you can listen to by clicking here.