Hello Ms. Risper,
I enjoyed your article on Lonnie Johnson and his family history. There are some old Lansing families you might consider looking into. Some are friends who are very successful attorneys now. Vence Bonham’s father was a community leader in Lansing and President of the NAACP here. The other is Roger Groves. I think his mother was also a community leader in Lansing. I hope this is helpful. I am sure you already know about Judge Clinton Canady whose father was the first dentist in town and is still alive but very ill. His mother was the national President of the Deltas sorority. His sister was the first black woman pediatric neurosurgeon in the U.S. and chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Detroit Children’s Hospital. Also Ingham Co prosecutor Stuart Dunnings, whose father was the first black attorney in Lansing. Also Robert Brown was born in Lansing and was the Director of the State of Michigan Prison system for years. He is ill. I have not seen any of your other stories, so you may have already covered some of these people. I hope this is helpful.
Ralph E. Watson, M.D. FACP, FASH
Professor of Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Director, Hypertension Clinic
Michigan State University
Certified Specialist in Clinical Hypertension
Thank you for your reply. In 2011, we collected dictionaries and thesauruses and gave them away to families and children who did not have either. In 2012, we decided to collect stories. It is sort of organic. Unfortunately, I do not know much about the families that you have mentioned, however, the individuals that we have chosen thus far The New Citizens Press has had feedback from them over the years so it is prudent to interview who we know and those who are willing! We love talking to people about the lives they have lived.
This was printed in the June 17, 2012 – June 30, 2012 Ediiton