Group protests history materials getting thrown away in Highland Park

Books, tapes found in garbage at Renaissance Academy

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. - A protest blocked traffic after part of a financially struggling Michigan school district's collection of black history books, tapes, film strips and other materials was found discarded outside its high school library.

The protest took place Monday at Renaissance Academy in school in Highland Park.

The district's state-appointed emergency manager Donald Weatherspoon has said workers on the second floor of the library mistakenly threw them out last month. He's said the district in the mostly black Detroit enclave was able to recover the materials in time.

READ: Highland Park historical items tossed in dumpster

The materials were found by area residents who say some of the collection was destroyed.

To my horror, I saw books scattered among broken audio/visual materials, equipment that I myself had helped order in the 1990s. What is frightening many Highland Parkers is that the Highland Park archives were also kept in the high school and go back to the early 20th century. We don't know where that is right now," said historian Paul Lee.

Andre' Davis, vice president and secretary of the Highland Park school system's board, says he's resigning in protest of the dumping.

"You're discarding file cabinets, desks ...if we have a deficit, can't we sell some of this stuff? It has value. But there's no communication to the community and you're being dictated to. That's not the American way," Davis said.

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