A Stronger Kinship by Anna-Lisa Cox (2006)
This is the story of Covert Township in Southwest Michigan from the 1860s to the early 1900s. Although blacks were always a relative small percentage of the already small population of the area, they were completely integrated into the educational, social, business, and religious lives of the community. Several blacks held elected public offices. The author explores why, in a time when the local people had to go against state law and general national attitude to treat all of their neighbors as equals, they chose to do so.

The author's website contains an 1873 map of Covert Township along with other great information. On NPR's site, you can read or listen to the December 2006 story and view several pictures.