Name of racist ex-Mayor Hubbard name removed from Dearborn ballroom

click to enlarge The Orville Hubbard statue was removed in June. - Aleanna Siacon/Wayne State University
Aleanna Siacon/Wayne State University
The Orville Hubbard statue was removed in June.

Former Dearborn Mayor Orville Hubbard was a notorious racist and segregationist who pledged to keep the city “lily white.”

His name graces a street and buildings in the now-diverse Detroit suburb.

On Tuesday, the Dearborn City Council voted to unanimously remove his name from one of the city’s buildings — the civic center ballroom.

The Hubbard Ballroom has been rebranded the Lincoln Ballroom, a nod to President Abraham Lincoln, who ended slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation.

"Dearborn is proactively looking to demonstrate inclusivity and a welcoming approach to everything we do, and that's important to me," Councilwoman Erin Byrnes told The Detroit Free Press. "In that sense, any name that we choose to put in a place of honor or allow to stay in a place of honor needs to be inclusive and welcoming."

In June, the city removed a statue of Hubbard, the city’s longest serving mayor, from the entrance of the Dearborn Historical Museum after public outcry. Before its removal, someone placed a Black Lives Matter shirt on it. Also in June, the city of Detroit removed its Christopher Columbus statue from downtown.

Hubbard served as mayor from 1942 to 1978 and staunchly opposed integration and public housing.

“Housing the Negroes is Detroit’s problem,” Hubbard said in 1944, according to Thomas Sugrue’s The Origins of the Urban Crisis.

Hubbard died in 1982.

Today, about 3.1% of Dearborn’s population is Black. It also boasts the largest Muslim population in the country.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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