Exploring African American History

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American, photo courtesy of Midwest Living/Kevin J. Miyazaki/ReduxGet ready for an eye-opening encounter when you visit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History—the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. The facility provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African Americans and their African origins. Founded in 1965 and housing over 35,000 artifacts, this 125,000 square foot museum is located in the heart of Midtown Detroit's Cultural Center and is home to more than 30,000 artifacts and archival materials. Some of the major collections include the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, the Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, a Coleman A. Young Collection and the Sheffield Collection which chronicles the labor movement in Detroit.

Key to the experience is "And Still We Rise: Our Journey through African American History and Culture," the museum's 22,000 square foot, interactive core. Additional highlights include the Ford Freedom Rotunda and its 65-foot high glass dome; "Ring of Genealogy," a 37-foot terrazzo tile creation by artist Hubert Massey surrounded by bronze nameplates of prominent African Americans in history; the Louise Lovett Wright Library and Robert L. Hurst Research Center; a 317-seat theater. Those desiring to embark on an in-depth study off-site can take a journey along the network of secret routes and safe houses entitle “The Underground Railroad: The Struggle Against Slavery,” the museum’s dynamic online study series which is both educational as well as entertaining.  

Every third Friday of every month, visitors to the museum can enjoy a live, curated storytelling event featuring five storytellers who will tell a true, personal story. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History also offers a wide array of spectacular events including concerts, film screenings, lectures, performances, community health and fitness classes--and so much more. When planning a tour, be sure to allow time to visit the museum store for authentic African art and books, as well as other Afrocentric merchandise.

For more information, schedules, current exhibitions and events calendar, contact the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.