Hidden In Plain Site

Karen A.D. Burton and Saundra Little archiving documents


Never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd end up here. We both love architecture and enjoy the camaraderie with architects and designers. We both (probably) take on way more than we should when it comes to volunteering with architecture and allied professional organizations. When we started our careers, becoming storytellers and historians was not part of the plan.

"I don't know any Black architects," we'd hear people say. Well, Saundra is one. We know many - in Detroit, through our membership in the National Organization of Minority Architects, and others.

Making the invisible visible became our mission. Letting folks know about Donald White and Francis Griffin, Michigan's first two licensed Black Architects, and their contributions not only here in Michigan, but across the country and the world became our passion. Having architects and family members proudly share newspaper clippings and tell stories about navigating through a profession where Black folks sometimes feel invisible has been enlightening and empowering.

We shared so many stories and interview several architects and professional over the past year. This Black History Month, we're revisiting the highlights of 2021 and invite you to join us on our new exciting journey, including a podcast and book in the works. Make sure you're part of our community on social media, and share using the hashtag #HiddenInPlainSite.