The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world’s largest museum of its kind dedicated solely to the history of African Americans. Located in the heart of Detroit’s Cultural Center, The Charles H. Wright Museum is just a short walk from the Detroit Science Museum and the Detroit Institute of Arts. This 120,000 square foot museum was founded in 1965 and hosts thousands of visitors each year.
African American History Museum’s “And Still We Rise”
One of the main attractions, “And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture,” is the interactive heart of the museum and houses more than 20 galleries. Beginning in Africa, across the Atlantic Ocean to the Underground Railroad this exhibit chronicles the journey of the African American from slavery to emancipation and the efforts of families, businesses, religious institutions and civic organizations in the fight for equality.
African American History Museum’s Ongoing Exhibits
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has many ongoing exhibits that focus on different elements of African American History:
“A is for Africa” is designed for the youngest museum visitor and features 26 interactive stations that make up a three-dimensional African American dictionary. This exhibit uses the people, places, objects, food and events that helped shaped the history of the African American community.
“The Ring of Genealogy” is a work by artist Hubert Massey and is found on the floor of the Ford Freedom Rotunda. The symbols in this work depict the struggles of the African American for freedom and equality in this country and features name plates of prominent figures in African American history surrounding the floor.
Other ongoing exhibits include “Stories in Stained Glass: The of Samuel A. Hodge,” and “Detroit Performs.”
African American History Museum’s Special Exhibits
Many special exhibits add to the depth of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Previous exhibitions include a tribute to the Apollo Theatre and how it shaped American entertainment, a comprehensive look at Detroit hometown hero, Joe Louis and various art exhibits by African American artists. In 2011 the museum will feature the art of Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Jerome Wright and Gale Fulton Ross. Special exhibits about the Tuskegee Airmen and The Chris Webber collection of artifacts relating to the lives of great African Americans will also be featured.
African American History Museum’s Special Events
Special events are also a big part of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. January of 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The museum will celebrate the day with performances, service and workshops to honor the legacy of Dr. King. Other events throughout the year include programming around Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Black Music Month, the African World Festival and Kwanzaa.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History celebrates the history of the African American throughout the year. The dream of Dr. Charles H. Wright to have a place for African Americans to document, preserve and educate the public on their history and culture is alive and well in Detroit, Michigan.