INKSTER, Mich. — A group of suburban Detroit residents wants to clean up and restore a house where civil rights leader Malcolm X lived in the 1950s and have it designated as a historic landmark.
The yard of the boarded-up, burned-out home in Inkster, a city hit hard by crime, blight and a declining population, was cleaned up in July, The Detroit News reported (http://bit.ly/19u4TbE ).
The nonprofit organization behind the effort, Project: We Hope, Dream and Believe, thinks the home could one day be open to tours and house some Malcolm X memorabilia.
"We want to promote it so people can see we have something positive here," Inkster resident Dawon Lynn said. "There's really been nothing positive going on in the city, so we want to let people know Malcolm did stay here and give the kids walking to school something they can be proud of."
Aaron Sims, who operates the nonprofit, led the July effort to clean up the property and a neighboring house.
He appealed for help by posting a picture of the house on Facebook with the caption: "Can we cut Malcolm X's grass." Dozens of volunteers and residents responded, cutting the lawn, clearing overgrown tree branches and picking up debris, including syringes and liquor bottles.
The weeds have since grown back, however, and vodka bottles again litter the lawn.
"When you don't share information about who lived there, people just treat it like a regular abandoned house," said Sims, a fourth-generation Inkster resident. "I don't think the owners knew too much of the history and neither do the kids in the community."
Plans for the project are expected to be discussed at an Oct. 21 city council meeting.
Malcolm X rose to fame as the chief spokesman of the Nation of Islam, a movement started in Detroit more than 80 years ago. He proclaimed the Black Muslim organization's message at the time: racial separatism as a road to self-actualization and urged Blacks to claim civil rights "by any means necessary" and referred to whites as "devils."
After breaking with the Nation of Islam in 1964 and making an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, he espoused a more internationalist approach to human rights and began emphasizing that he didn't view all whites as racists. He was assassinated in 1965. -- (AP)
NEW YORK — CBS says Halle Berry will star in a serialized drama coming to the network next summer.
The Oscar-winning actress will headline "Extant," a 13-episode thriller. Berry will play an astronaut trying to reconnect with her family when she returns after a year in outer space. Her experiences lead to events that change the course of history.
The series is being made in partnership with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, which made last summer's surprise hit for CBS, "Under the Dome." CBS announced "Extant" in August.
CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said Berry is the type of actress "you dream of collaborating with for an event project such as 'Extant.'"
The 47-year-old Berry won an Oscar in 2002 for her starring role in "Monster's Ball." -- (AP)
DANBURY, Conn. — Lauryn Hill's attorney says she has been released from federal prison after serving time for failing to pay taxes.
The singer left the facility in Connecticut on Friday. Her attorney Nathan Hochman says he hasn't had a chance to speak to his client yet.
Hill pleaded guilty last year to not paying taxes on more than $1.5 million earned from 2005 to 2007. She was sentenced in July to serve three months. Under terms of her plea agreement, she'll spend the next three months under home confinement. She lives in New Jersey.
Hill, a former member of the Fugees and winner of multiple Grammys, has said she stopped paying taxes after she dropped out of the music business to protect herself and her children, who now number six. -- (AP)
HARRISBURG, Pa. — State officials are vehemently denying any bias against Cheyney University, saying the struggling school has in fact received extra support.
The governor's office responded Thursday to statements by Cheyney supporters, who contend the historically Black college is short-changed compared with mainstream institutions.
The group Heeding Cheyney's Call sent a letter to Gov. Tom Corbett last month demanding equitable funding for the state-owned school in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The group alleges an unfair fiscal formula has led to inferior facilities, plummeting enrollment and $14 million in debt. They say a discrimination lawsuit could follow if changes aren't made.
State officials say a lawsuit would have no merit. They say "forthright discussion" would be more productive.
The group's lawyer, Michael Coard, says he'll pursue such talks. He says Cheyney has suffered too long. -- (AP)
One of two survivors of the 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia has died.
The Brevard County, Fla., medical examiner's office says Michael Moses Ward died aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Investigator Craig Engelson says the 41-year-old Ward was found in a hot tub Friday and appears to have drowned.
Ward, formerly known as Birdie Africa, was a 13-year-old boy living with his mother at the compound of the militant group MOVE when Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on the roof, killing five children and six adults and incinerating 61 row homes.
Ward changed his name in 1986 and lived with his father, Andino Ward. He recovered from serious burns and served in the Army.
His father says Ward was extremely fit and the family is baffled by his death. -- (AP)