November 28, 1952: Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson born

S. Epatha MerkersonOn this day in 1952, Sharon Epatha Merkerson is born in Saginaw.

She will attend Detroit’s Thomas M. Cooley High School, graduating in 1970, and later Wayne State University, where she will earn a bachelor’s degree in 1978 before becoming an award-winning television, stage and film actress. In 1986, Merkerson will land a role in Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed She’s Gotta Have It.

In 1993, she will earn a role as “Lieutenant Anita Van Buren” on NBC-TV’s Law & Order. A respected performer with a display case full of hardware, Merkerson will win a Golden Globe; and a couple of Emmy awards, including “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie” for Lackawanna Blues in 2005.

Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman, the author of On this Day: African-American Life in Detroit, is a native Detroiter and former news reporter. He served on the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. He lives in Detroit with his wife, Kim Trent, and their son, Jackson Coleman.