Profiles and Portraits : African Americans in Niles' Past, Present, and Future

In 2016, the Niles History Center received funding though the Michigan Humanities Council's Heritage Grant program to explore our community's African American history. From the mid-19th century, free blacks and those who sought freedom through the Underground Railroad found refuge in Niles. They established neighborhoods, started businesses, built houses, and raised families. Many of their descendants still call Niles home. Through this project they shared family stories, genealogy records, photos and historical documents. To gather information for the project, high school students conducted oral history interviews with several Senior residents. The information from these interviews created the content for a panel exhibit on local African American history. This virtual exhibit on local African American history was created in confunction with the banner exhibit and features items from the Niles History Center collections, along with several photographs and artifacts from project participants. This project was funded in part by Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Click Here to Start the Exhibit.

Profiles and Portraits