U of M Football Team Helps Restore Historic Idlewild Community
The University of Michigan's football team recently took a field trip to help restore a historic community.
Well, describing it as a field trip feels a bit infantile considering the incredible work this team did. At the end of July, the Michigan Football Facebook page shared a series of photos showing their team hard at work painting, building picnic tables, and more with the caption:
Making an impact. It’s been a pleasure to help preserve and restore the Idlewild community this afternoon.
Tell Me More About the Idlewild Community
When you hear the word Idlewild, you might think of the 2006 film of the same name starring Andre 3000, Big Boi, Terrance Howard, and Paula Patton:
The movie is set in the American south during the prohibition era, according to IMDB, so there's little chance it has anything to do with this very real community that was once a thriving spot in Michigan.
The real Idlewild was a thriving Black resort town that was once dubbed 'the Black Eden' during the first half of the 20th century, according to secondwavemedia.com. The community featured clubs, cottages, hotels, and beaches and was, at one time, also called the Summer Apollo of Michigan. That same article from Second Wave Media goes on to say that crowds of 25,000 people would visit in a given weekend.
However, after desegregation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Black families were now legally allowed to visit other destinations. Thus, eventually, Idlewild fell into a state of disrepair.
I reached out to the University of Michigan Football team via Facebook to inquire about the projects that were done while the team was there, what drew them to this community, and more but, unfortunately, did not hear back.
In any event, you can see the photos they shared of this football team hard at work below:
People in the community openly expressed their gratitude in the comments saying things like:
This stop will bring some much needed visibility and hopefully attract more helpers to this community! Thank you team - Kristen M.
This is what makes them even stronger!!! Thank you and GO BLUE! - Jane H.
If you wonder why the People of this State love you (regardless of where you grew up) this is why. Keep it up. You're earning the respect of over 10 million people right now. - Chris T.
Judging by the photos, it looks like the team hit a few different spots like the Morton Motel and the Flamingo Club among others. Check out the video blog of the team's trip below:
Now, I don't personally have any allegiance to any particular football team. But, at least for today, thanks to their work, I'll loudly say - GO BLUE!