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The Legacy Continues!

The Legacy Continues!

From the Pink Papers to the The birth of the Black Slate

Later, through the volunteerism and support of the Shrine of the Black Madonna, The Black Slate was developed under the guidance of Rev. Cleage (who by now had taken the African name, Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman), and his sister, Barbara Martin (who became known as Fundi Nandi) for the purpose of aiding qualified candidates’ bids for elective office. To this end, The Black Slate has been a cogent force in establishing and elevating capable, caring and conscientious individuals in the political arena.

Peopled largely (but not exclusively) by members of the Shrine of the Black Madonna, The Black Slate had its debut in the 1973 Detroit Mayoral Election. Encouraged by the successful campaigns of Carl B. Stokes in Cleveland, Ohio, and Richard C. Hatcher in Gary, Indiana, two men (State Senator Coleman Young and Judge Ed Bell) felt it was time Detroit had its first black mayor. The two presented themselves and their positions at a meeting that included Jaramogi and Fundi Nandi.

Both men had name recognition and proven electability, but it was Senator Young’s firm pledge to dismantle the abominable Stop Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets (S.T.R.E.S.S.) program—which unleashed racist, killer cops into the Black community—that tipped the scales in Young’s favor. As a result, hundreds of Black Slate volunteers were deployed throughout the city to register voters and to educate and motivate the Black community to vote one of our own into the mayor’s office. History was made as The Black Slate army worked the polls and Coleman Alexander Young became Detroit’s first Black mayor.

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