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Whatever Happened to Idlewild

Idlewild Resort

Idlewild Resort, c. 1940s
Kalamazoo Public Library

Date, Location

    Presented by Coy Davis Jr.

    Coy Davis Jr. will present his documentary “Whatever Happened to Idlewild.” Davis will host a discussion about this historic site in northwestern lower Michigan.

    Idlewild, Michigan, was once a thriving community steeped in African American culture and entertainment. Once known as America’s “Black Eden,” Idlewild was an active year-round community from 1912 through the mid-1960s, and was visited by well-known entertainers and professionals from throughout the country. At its peak it was the most popular resort in the Midwest and as many as 25,000 would come to Idlewild in the height of the summer season to enjoy camping, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, roller skating, and night-time entertainment.

    Learn more: 'Black Eden,' The Town That Segregation Built (NPR, July 2012)

    The Search for Stories and Photos

    KPL is currently searching for those who have stories about and/or photos of Idlewild and would like to be filmed sharing them as part of the presentation.

    Deadline: January 13. Call 269-553-7842 if interested.

    Presented in partnership with the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society.