Greatness Within: The Albert White Story

For generations, his name was forgotten from the history books, but his decedents kept his memory and legacy alive.

By Lem Montero

Born in 1861 to a recently freed slave, Albert White went on to build several iconic structures in the Greater Kalamazoo Area, including what’s now known as WMU’s Heritage Hall, Chenery Auditorium, the Kalamazoo County Health and Human Services building, the Stone Wall at Nazareth on Gull Rd., and much more.

Despite the respect he gained during his lifetime, the memory of his contributions faded as history failed to credit the many African Americans who helped make Kalamazoo the city it became. Decades after his passing in 1930, Albert White’s descendants are managing to bring attention to his work and lifting his profile high enough that he’s finally getting the recognition he deserved all along.

In this episode of Amplify Kalamazoo, we meet Raymond Gant, one of Albert White’s greatest champions, who delivers a powerful call to remember those who came before us. Mr. Gant not only introduces us to his incredible ancestor, but also gives us reasons to reflect on everyone in our own families who have come before us.

This piece was shown at an event at Heritage Hall honoring Albert White on Friday, April 19. The video was made by PMN Frank Jamison Fellowship recipients Duncan MacEwen and Matthew Mroczek.

Share This Article