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In 1923, the Reverend R.M. Gilbert, pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan, spearheaded the effort that led to the establishment of the Dunbar Community Center. The original intent of the Center was to provide housing for Black laborers working on area roads and University of Michigan building projects. The Center's first building, located at 209-11 North Fourth Avenue, was used primarily for sleeping quarters, but there were also a few areas set aside for club meetings and social events. Gradually the purpose of the Center changed from one of providing temporary housing to that of being a place where Ann Arbor's Black population could gather for social, recreational, and civic activities. In 1926, a new administrator, Mrs. Savonia L. Carson, was appointed Executive Secretary and the Center moved to 1009 East Catherine where it remained until 1937.
- Ann Arbor Community Center Records, Bentley Historical Library
Article Keywords: African Americans, Ann Arbor Community Center, Dunbar Center
Places: 1009 E Catherine
Date: August 1936
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