Charles Diggs Sr., was a Michigan State Senator, first elected in 1936. A Mortician, he was the founder of Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery in Warren, Michigan, which was founded in response to widespread discrimination against African-American Detroiters by white-owned cemeteries.
When he was caught up in a legislative bribery scandal in 1944, his political career came to a grinding halt. Upon his release from prison in 1950, Diggs Sr. sought to reclaim his position in the State legislature. He won his election bid, but in an unprecedented move, the Republican-controlled Michigan Senate refused to seat him and another member-elect because of their criminal records. Outraged by the events that prevented Charles Diggs Sr. from resuming his political career, Charles Diggs Jr. (who is buried near him, D R2 Grave #3) interrupted his studies at the Detroit School of Law to enter the special election for his father's seat. Charles Diggs Jr. thus won the election and would go on to serve in the Michigan Senate for three years before setting his sights on the United States Congress, which Charles Diggs Jr. won in 1954, becoming Michigan's first African-American Congressman. Charles Diggs Sr.is buried next to his wife, Mayme Ethel Jones Diggs, who is buried next to their son, Charles Diggs Jr.
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