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The first African-American mayor of Detroit recounts his life, describing his epic journey from “Big Time Red” on the Prohibition streets of Detroit to his rise in politics.

Coleman A. Young is one of the most legendary mayors in the history of the United States. He became Detroit’s mayor in 1974 and served until 1993. The life of this Motor City historical figure is chronicled in Young’s autobiography, Hard Stuff.

Young lived of life of activism and this book provides insight to the motivational factors that contributed to strong beliefs. He lost his job at Ford Motor Company for union and civil rights activism before starting at the United States Postal Service where his brother George had helped start a union. He was also know to join and become involved in several progressive organizations.

But politics is where he would make him reputation among the masses as the two decade mayor. Young could have been the first elected African-American mayor of a major American city but Maynard Jackson beat him by a few days due to Georgia’s faster inauguration process.

This excerpt originally published on Examiner

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