The office of the Plaindealer, Detroit's first successful black newspaper, was located on this site. Founded in 1883 by five young men, it served as an advocate of black interests in Michigan and throughout the Midwest. Especially concerned with developing racial pride, the paper preferred the designation Afro-American rather than Negro, and encouraged the support of black businessmen and politicians. Its managing editor, Robert Pelham, Jr., was perhaps the best known black political figure in late-nineteenth century Detroit. In 1889 he helped organize the Afro-American League, the first nationally prominent civil rights group. Later, he held the position of census clerk with the federal government. The Plaindealer, however, failed to receive sufficient support in the community, and ceased publication in 1894.