Idlewild in Idlewild, Michigan

Once known as “the Black Eden of Michigan,” Idlewild was a thriving African American resort community founded in 1912. From roughly 1920 to the mid-1960s, Idlewild was one of the premier holiday venues for African Americans.

In the early 20th century, middle-class African Americans had few options for a holiday away from home. Jim Crow laws made it virtually impossible for African Americans to vacation at “white” resorts. Seeing the business opportunity, four land developers...

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