Pave the Way The I496 Project

They Even Took the Dirt

A powerful locally-produced documentary drew over 300 people to LCC on Feb. 27 and is available on YouTube for viewing anytime.

“Pave the Way: They Even Took the Dirt” explores the devastation wrought on a thriving Black neighborhood and business community as homes and shops were torn down, turning once active streets into dead-ends to make way for the I496 highway that would bisect the city from east to west. The hour-long documentary was followed by a passionate discussion with the audience, film coordinator Greta Haney-Trice, film editor Craig Jones, and others involved with the film and who have lived this story.

The documentary was produced by the Historical Society of Greater Lansing and presented by LCC Historians at the Movies. The free event drew a crowd of a couple hundred Greater Lansing community members and over 100 LCC students, faculty and staff.

The film is available for viewing anytime on YouTube: They Even Took the Dirt

LCC Historians at the Movies is a monthly gathering to watch films and discuss virtually through WebEx chat or on X using #LCCHATM, led by LCC History faculty with interdisciplinary co-hosts. The Feb. 27 film showing was a special, in-person Historians at the Movies event, and was part of LCC’s Black History Month offerings. Learn more about LCC Historians at the Movies and other programs at History Matters: Learning Outside the Classroom