Award-winning author Herb Boyd to lecture in Detroit

Herb Boyd, an award-winning journalist and author of Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination, will be in Detroit to discuss the history of Parker’s Alley and early Black life in Detroit during his lecture “Detroit’s First Decade and Some, 1793 to 1806.”

Boyd will chronicle the rich history of Detroit and Parker’s Alley through the lens of the African American experience, Tuesday, June 18 at the Shinola Hotel’s Birdy Room (1400 Woodward) from 6-8 p.m. The event is open to the public via RSVP, but seating will be limited. Contact Trin Smith by phone 313-545-8072 or email

Parker’s Alley is a block-long walkway that sits behind the new Shinola Hotel in downtown and honors Thomas Parker, one of the first African American landowners in the city’s history in 1809. Parker’s small parcel was located at 1413 Farmer street, land he owned from March 18, 1809 until April 9, 1816. He acquired the land through a lot drawing for $1, stemming from the Great Detroit Fire of 1805.

Boyd, who used to live in Detroit, has published a number of books and countless articles for national magazines and newspapers. His most recent book, Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination, has received several awards, including a finalist for an NAACP Image Award. Black Detroit looks at the evolving culture, politics, economics, and spiritual life of Detroit, exploring the city’s past, present, and future and its significance to the African American legacy and the nation’s fabric.


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