As one of the oldest cities in the country, Detroit’s greatness has been built by a wide variety of racial and ethnic groups including African Americans. From the leadership of its first African American Mayor, Coleman A, Young to Berry Gordy’s founding of the legendary record label Motown Records, the contributions of African Americans in Detroit are significant, not just within the city but to the world. This month, celebrate the contributions of African Americans to the world across the arts, business, politics and more. Throughout February there are a number of lectures, exhibits, artist talks and more.
Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48201
The Struggle Continues
Saturday, February 27, 2016 – 12:00pm – 3:30pm
In partnership with the Detroit Public Library, the Dale Rich Collection will host a screening of selected portions of the award-winning documentary “Eyes on the Prize,” and a panel discussion on Voting Rights featuring Dr. Gloria House, Civil Rights Movement activist. The program will be held from 12:00-3:30 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library, Main Library.
The discussion moderated by Wayne County Community College District history professor Wallace Peace, Ph. D will include Dr. Gloria House, retired director of the African American Studies Department at the University of Michigan Dearborn and a former SNCC member who was shot at and jailed while fighting for Civil Rights. Dr. House also worked to register southern Blacks to vote, and taught at southern Freedom Schools. For more information on The Struggle Continues, please visitwww.detroitpubliclibrary.org.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 E. Warren, Detroit, MI 48201
And Still We Rise – Permanent Exhibit
This long-term exhibition serves as the central experience of the museum. The 22,000 square-foot exhibition space contains more than 20 galleries that allow patrons to travel over time and across geographic boundaries. The journey begins in Africa, the cradle of human life. Patrons will see several ancient and early modern civilizations that evolved on the continent. The exhibit then takes attendees on the journey across the Atlantic Ocean, experiencing the tragedy of the middle passage and encounter those who resisted the horrors of bondage, emancipated themselves and sometimes took flight by way of the Underground Railroad. Throughout this trip, the efforts of everyday men and women who built families, businesses, educational institutions, spiritual traditions, civic organizations and a legacy of freedom and justice in past and present-day Detroit are hailed. For more information on this and other exhibits or events please visit www.thewright.org.
First Congregational Church
33 E. Forest, Detroit, MI 48201
The Underground Railroad Living Museum
The Underground Railroad Living Museum Flight to Freedom Tour is a “storytelling” re-enactment of the original Underground Railroad passage that operated between 1840 and 1863. On the tour visitors will be shackled with wrist bands at the entrance of the tour and begin their journey by entering through the “Door of No Return” on Goree Island in Africa. As this journey begins, visitors transform into passengers on the Underground Railroad and are led to Freedom by a conductor. Passengers hide from bounty hunter cross the Ohio “Deep” river, take retreat in a safe house which is owned by Abolitionist Levi Coffin in I n d i a n a . Finally, passengers move to “Midnight” the code name for Detroit and take safe haven at the First Congregational Church of Detroit before moving to “Freedom.”
The Underground Railroad Living Museum Station House exhibit is an ADA accessible exhibit derived from the Flight to Freedom Tour. Visitors are greeted with a briefing and a video presentation in the theatre. After going through the “Door of No Return”, visitors are presented with a series of dioramas that display what it was like during the journey from the slave ships to freedom. Along with the dioramas are exhibits with artifacts, pictures and other information. For more information on the museum and to book your tour please visit www.friendsoffirst.com.