What Does The 'TULC' On That Building On Grand River Stand For? 5 Spots Video Series

Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014

By Terry Parris Jr.

Have you ever driven along Grand River, on Detroit's Old West Side, and seen "TULC" displayed on the side of a red brick building that's sort of covered in graffiti. Well, here's the story behind that, and it's important.

In 1957 the Trade Union Leadership Council opened its doors. As more and more African-Americans moved from the south up to Detroit to work in the car factories, and then became members of groups like the United Auto Workers and other unions, there became a need for an organization like the TULC, which looked after the interests of the African-American worker.

On Monday we rolled out a video series. We spent an afternoon with Detroit author Ken Coleman. He took us to five spots around Detroit that are significant to African-American history. We covered stories from the 1800s and the Underground Rail, through the '20s and '40s, and up to the late '50s with the formation of the Trade Union Leadership Council. Today, we are featuring what happened at 4801 E. Nevada St. in northeast Detroit in the 1940s.

You can watch the entire series here.

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, Craig Fahle and Coleman discussed the video project. Dig a little deeper on these sites and why they were chosen by listening to the conversation here:
Historically Significant Sites in Detroit - The Craig Fahle Show by The Craig Fahle Show

Additionally, here is a map of the spots we went to throughout Detroit. The TULC is the green star.

Thanks to:
Ken Coleman for his time and knowledge
Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University
Joshua Jouppi for WDET motion graphic