State Building In Michigan Formerly Named For Slave Owner Renamed

Sep 21, 2020

Unveiling of newly named building in Lansing by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and others on Sept. 21, 2020.
Credit Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich (AP) — A state building previously named after a slave owner now bears the name of two former state legislators who led efforts to reform Michigan’s civil rights laws. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state officials unveiled the new sign in a ceremony on Monday in Lansing, marking the first time in state history a state building is named after an African-American woman. Formerly known as the Lewis Cass Building, after a former U.S. senator from Michigan and slave owner, the building will now be called the Elliott-Larsen Building. Reps. Daisy Elliot, a Detroit Democrat and Mel Larsen, an Oakland County Republican, sponsored the 1977 Civil Rights Act that prohibited discrimination.