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Patch Highlights Community Leaders, Trailblazers for Black History Month

Black History Month is also a time to identify the success and achievements of contemporary black pioneers and trendsetters.

In recognition of Black History Month, Patch is highlighting modern-day community leaders and trailblazers who live or work in our Patch towns.

The group includes entrepreneurs, school board members, principals, doctors and politicians. 

Adrienne M. Davis, secretary of the Plymouth-Canton school board and one of the people whom Patch is highlighting, said Black History Month goes back to a time when black Americans were not considered a valid part of the country’s history.

“The purpose is to highlight achievements and positive contributions,” she said. “It’s not just for African Americans, it’s for everyone.”

Click on the links below to read about community leaders from across southeast Michigan.

Community leaders and trailblazers:

State Senator Morris W. Hood III, who serves his constituents in the 3rd District -- Dearborn, River Rouge and part of Detroit -- worked to get a new science building at Henry Ford Community College that opened in October. Read more about him here.

Adrienne M. Davis, secretary for Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Board of Education, was elected in 2009 as the district's first black school board member. Read more about her here.

Roland "Ro" Coit, co-owner of sneaker boutique Burn Rubber and men's clothing boutique two/eighteen in Royal Oak, attracted the attention of rapper Eminem who is producing a show about Coit and the stores. Read more about him here.

The Rev. Deon K. Johnson, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Brighton, is changing the face of his congregation by including youth and adding flexibility. Read more about him here.

Thomas Parker, a "School Superhero" and Rochester Hills resident, is a middle school and high school principal who thinks beyond graduation rates, pushing his students to plan for college and beyond. Read more about him here.

Dr. John R. Trotter II, physician at Sinai-Grace and Bloomfield Hills resident, works to provide free medical access locally, nationally and abroad. Read more about him here.

Dr. Afzal Beemath, Bloomfield Hills resident, is the first black medical director of Palliative Medicine at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital. Read more about him here.

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