Civil and Legal Rights
Civil rights laws in Michigan provided for equal access to public places including inns, theaters, and restaurants. These statutes prescribed penalties for violators. The laws also extended to blacks the ability to participate fully in court proceedings, such as grand jury service. In addition, state law required that insurance companies make no distinction on account of race when collecting premiums.
An act to protect all citizens in their civil rights. Approved May 28, 1885, Laws of Michigan.
Section 1. The People of the State of Michigan enact, That all persons within the jurisdiction of said State shall be entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, restaurants, eating-houses, barbershops, public conveyances on land and water, theaters, and all other places of public accommodation and amusement, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all citizens.
Section 2. That any person who shall violate any of the provisions, of the foregoing section, by denying to any citizen, except for reasons applicable alike to all citizens of every race and color, and regardless of color or race, the full accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges in said section enumerated or by aiding or inciting such denial, shall for every such offense be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not to exceed one hundred dollars, or shall be fined not to exceed one hundred dollars, or shall be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.