Celebrate Black History Month in Detroit
Live and Virtual Destinations and Events
Charles Wright Museum
And Still We Rise: From the tragedy of the Middle Passage to the heroism of the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, And Still We Rise offers a comprehensive look at the history of African American resilience.
Exhibits of Note:
Tuskegee Airman: The Tuskegee Airmen National Museum is housed in the Coleman A. Young Gallery, which is named after Detroit’s first Black mayor who was a second lieutenant, bombardier, and navigator in the Tuskegee Airmen. Honoring the legacy and achievements of the nation’s first All-Black air fighter squadron.
New exhibition King Tutankhamun: “Wonderful Things” from Pharaoh’s Tomb until August 22, 2022. The year 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the tomb of the boy Pharaoh (King), Tutankhamun.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Exhibits of note:
The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion
Shirley Woodson: Shield of the Nile Reflections
And check out the education resources by grade before you visit https://www.dia.org/education
The Henry Ford
Exhibits of note:
Lincoln Chair from the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC when he was assassinated on April 14, 1865.
Gateway to Freedom Sculpture in Detroit
Two gateway pillars (approximately fifteen feet tall), topped with candles symbolizing the “Flame of Freedom,” flank Ed Dwight‘s memorial to the Underground Railroad. The work, which overlooks the Detroit River, includes a ten-by-twelve-foot sculptural group: eight escaping slaves and an Underground Railroad Conductor, who gazes and points towards Canada. Dwight modeled the conductor after George DeBaptiste, a freeman from Virginia who migrated to Detroit in 1846. DeBaptiste was an active abolitionist, Underground Railroad operative, and leader of the Vigilant Committee of Detroit, a watchdog and legal advocacy group for the black community. Sculptor Dwight is a former NASA astronaut.
Second Baptist Church in Detroit
From 1836 to 1865 (the end of the Civil War), the church served as a “station” on the Underground Railroad receiving some 5,000 slaves before sending them on to Canada. By giving them food, clothing, and shelter the church was in total defiance of the Fugitive Slave Laws. In 1839, Second Baptist established the city’s first school for black children.
Wayne State University
African American History in Detroit Lecture
A guest community member will discuss Black history in Detroit. In the early 20th century, millions of African Americans escaped the harsh realities of the south and relocated to cities like Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. Feb 2 12:15 p.m.
They present two special online events in honor of Black History Month. On Feb. 9, teens and young adults explore how African American women and men fought for women’s rights. On Feb. 20 adults learn how Black pioneers migrated to Michigan and built lives there before it became a state.
Detroit Book City African American Family Book Expo
This sixth annual expo features book discussions, kids’ activities, meet-and-greets with black authors and more. First 100 adults receive a swag bag. Bring the kids to meet “Bookie,” Detroit Book City’s new book dog mascot and get free Black history coloring sheets, bookmarks, crayons and other goodies! Registration required. Free/admission, fee apply for items on sale
12:30-5 p.m. Feb. 19, 2022
Detroit Black Scroll Series
Detroit Black History Series
Detroit History Tours
Midnight to Dawn: Detroit’s Underground Railroad virtual presentation
About the photograph above:
On Feb. 10, 1976, during America’s bicentennial year, President Gerald R. Ford signed legislation designating February as Black History Month. In his remarks, President Ford thanked Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the African American historian who founded the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History and is remembered today as “The Father of Black History.”
“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” Dr. Woodson wrote in 1933.