Museum open every day of February, presents wide array of programming

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will be open every day of February and present a wide range of exciting and inspirational programming in celebration of Black History Month. Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the museum at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, and are free and open to the public. A complete listing of events is provided, and of special note are the following:

On Saturday, February 4 at 2 PM, The Wright in partnership with the DIA presents Dark Matter: A Conversation Between Two of America’s Greatest Artists: Allie McGhee and Bill Harris, exploring the parallels between these two artists and friends, writer and Kresge Eminent Artist Bill Harris and abstract artist Allie McGhee. Their dynamic dialogue will illuminate their ever-evolving crafts.

On Sunday, February 12 from 12 – 8 PM, We Found Hip Hop and The Yunion present the sixth annual Dilla Youth Day, celebrating the life and legacy of the African American musical producer J. Dilla who was integral in creating Neo-Soul and revolutionized the sound of 1990s Hip Hop. Children will explore hands-on S.T.E.A.M. activities while discovering the dynamic world of music.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit Rebellion, The Wright continues its United We Stand: The Year of Rebellion programming with four events: Liberation Film Series presents The 1898 Wilmington Massacre, on Saturday, February 11 at 4 PM; Black Life in Brazil, on Saturday, February 18 at 2 PM; Celebrating Ghana’s 60th Anniversary of Independence: From Enslavement to Independence on Thursday, February 23 at 6 PM; and a Tribute to Master Teacher Dr. John Henrik Clarke Saturday, February 25 at 2 PM.

About the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Founded in 1965, The Wright Museum opens minds and changes lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. For more information visit TheWright.org.


Links to Science presented by the Renaissance (MI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

Saturdays, February 4 and 11 at 12 PM

Did you know a dentist can detect disease – including cancer and cardiovascular diseases? Learn all about the world of dentistry at this month’s Links to Science program. Links to Science is an exciting series of FREE children’s workshops designed to explore The Wright Museum’s permanent exhibit, Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science & Technology. Free.

Family Activity Series: Mardis Gras

Saturday, February 11 at 1 PM

Mardi Gras is traditionally a colorful celebration – let your children create fun crafts that will be used in their own Mardi Gras parade. Also featured will be captivating stories and historical facts about Mardi Gras presented with dramatic storytelling and visuals. Free.

DTE Energy Foundation Free Second Sunday

Sunday, February 12 from 1 – 5 PM

Bring your family and friends to experience The Wright Museum with free admission every second Sunday of the month courtesy of the DTE Energy Foundation! Enjoy the many exhibitions on display as well as engaging programming for the entire family. Free admission excludes group tours that require a tour guide. For group tour information please call (313) 494-5808 or email tours@thewright.org.

Family Activity Series: Detroit Black History, Black Bottom & Paradise Valley

Saturday, February 18 at 1 PM

Learn about the rich history and music of Detroit and famous African American neighborhoods of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley. Free.

Meet the Scientist Saturday featuring David Head & Dr. Terrance Dillard

Saturday, February 25 at 2 PM

Do you know a curious student, a young Einstein, or a future tech wizard who is always thinking of the next big thing? Bring them to discover and explore science with activities led by scientists and technologists with the hands-on exhibit, Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology! Free.


Freedom School at The Wright Museum

Saturdays at 10 AM

Boost your children’s competence in basic subjects and watch them grow strong in self-esteem as they learn about awe-inspiring African American history and cultural heritage! Freedom School features volunteer teachers led by Dr. Gloria Aneb House who are practicing and retired educational professionals, artists, writers, media experts and college graduates committed to education. Free.

 Dark Matter: A Conversation Between Two of America’s Greatest Artists: Allie McGhee and Bill Harris

Saturday, February 4 at 2 PM

Eavesdrop on this conversation and hear a dynamic transcript about art in its many forms. Listen to the parallels between the two artists writer and Kresge Eminent Artist, Bill Harris and abstract artist, Allie McGhee. Their journeys will shed insight to an artist’s ever evolving craft. Free.

Emergency Meeting on the Education Crisis: What’s Going On?

Sunday, February 5 at 3:30 PM

Why are there schools closures? Who is Betsy DeVos and why is she important? What’s a Community School? Is there hope? The answers to these questions and more will be discussed at this emergency meeting on the education crisis. Sponsors and participants include the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement; Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management; Detroit Life Coalition; We the People of Detroit; Keep the Vote, No Takeover; The Boggs Center; St. Peter’s Church; The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center & Bookstore; and The Mildred Gaddis Show on AM 1200 WCHB. Free.

Mildred Gaddis presents Wealth Building Seminar

Saturday, February 11 at 10 AM

You don’t have to be rich to build your wealth. Learn strategic ways to help grow your wealth. Hear from an expert, Ellis Liddell, CEO of ELE Wealth Companies and featured guest on Money Mondays, a weekly segment of the Mildred Gaddis Show on AM 1200 WCHB. Free.


  1. Dilla Youth Day: A Celebration of Neo-Soul & Hip Hop Music

Sunday, February 12 from 12 – 8 PM

Celebrate the life and legacy of African American musical producer J. Dilla who was integral in creating Neo-Soul and revolutionized 1990s Hip Hop. Explore hands-on S.T.E.A.M. activities while discovering the dynamic world of music! This youth-focused day is presented by We Found Hip Hop & The Yunion. Free.

ASALH History Lesson: More Than Motown: Five Black Historic Music Sites in Detroit

Sunday, February 12 at 4 PM

Passionate about black history? The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Detroit Branch has a history lesson for you! This month’s featured topic will give you an understanding of Detroit music before MotownFree.


USPS Stamp Unveiling: Honoring Civil Rights Icon Dorothy Height

Monday, February 13 at 6:30 PM

The U.S. Postal Service will unveil the newest stamp in the Black Heritage Series of Forever stamps honoring Dorothy Height (1912–2010), the tireless activist who dedicated her life to fighting for racial and gender equality. She is famously known for her leadership in organizing the 1963 March on Washington, and in receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. Free.

Black Life in Brazil

Saturday, February 18 at 2 PM

Gain a unique perspective of black life, rebellions and triumphs in the country of Brazil, which contains the largest African population in the Diaspora. Featuring speaker Dr. Ollie Johnson, Associate Professor and Chair, African American Studies, Wayne State University. Free.


Liberating Education: Overcoming the Crisis in Our Schools presented by ASALH Detroit

Sunday, February 19 at 5 PM

There is a history behind the crisis in Detroit’s educational system for Black students and schools. Hear leaders, and programs that are working to overcome the problems. Speakers: Nzingha LeJeune, Detroit Independent Freedom Schools, Rashid Faisal, Frederick Douglass International Academy and Jamon Jordan, ASALH Detroit. Following the lecture there will be a student presentation and a panel discussion. Free.


The World’s First Black Female Aviator: Bessie Coleman – A One Woman Performance by Gigi Coleman-Brooms

Tuesday, February 21 at 10 AM

This one-woman performance by Gigi Coleman-Brooms will inspire students to achieve their goals and dreams despite adversity – an aviation career is not out of reach and children will learn just how close it can be.Free.

Black Literary Forum

Tuesday, February 21 at 5:30 PM

Learn from book authors and publishers about the ins and outs of self-publishing. Featuring speakers Garland Jaggers, author and publisher; Lyn Lewis, author; Jessica Care Moore, author and publisher; Aurora Harris, author and publisher; and Gina Stewart, editor and journalist. Free.

Celebrating Ghana’s 60th Anniversary of Independence: The Last Bath – From Enslavement to Independence

Thursday, February 23 at 6 PM

Authors Shaakira and Jeffrey Lee Edison, Esq. discuss their first book, pan-African life, projects and experiences in Ghana to mark the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence lead by Kwame Nkrumah. Free.

Tribute to Master Teacher Dr. John Henrik Clarke: His Great and Mighty Walk

Saturday, February 25 at 2 PM

Speakers include Professor James Small, former professor of Black Studies at City College of New York; Dr. Leonard Jeffries, President of the World African Diaspora Union and former professor and chair of Black Studies at the City College of New York; and Dr. Wade Nobles, founder of The Association of Black Psychologists and professor at San Francisco State University. Free.


Liberation Film Series: Racial Violence: The 1898 Wilmington Massacre

Saturday, February 11 at 4 PM

Learn about the 1898 Wilmington Massacre, a bloody attack on an African-American community by a heavily armed white mob that was a starting point of the white supremacy movement. Featuring speakers Christopher Everett, Filmmaker and Dr. Geoff Ward, Associate Professor, Criminology, Law & Society, University of California, Irvine. Film: Wilmington on Fire. Free.

Brown Bag Film Series

Tuesdays – Fridays 11 AM – 1 PM

Looking for a spot to take your lunch hour with great entertainment? Whether you brought your lunch from home or from one of the many fine restaurants around Midtown, bring it to The Wright during this free weekly film series in the museum’s amphitheater. Free.


Hustle for History Weekly Dance Lessons ($)

Sundays at 5 PM

Work your muscles, strengthen your bones, and improve your health with weekly hustle lessons, taught by Thomasenia Johnson of Two Left Feet. Purchase five lessons and receive a museum membership, making your next 12 months free! $7 or free for members.

30 Days to Lose It! Weekly Workouts ($)

Tuesdays at 7:30 PM

Want to slim down, stay in shape or just be healthy? Join us for SEASON 7 of 30 Days To Lose It!, a weekly workout inspired by the TV show, The Biggest Loser. This workout is FREE for museum members and $5 for non-members. Attend 8 consecutive sessions and receive a complimentary museum membership, making your next 12 months free!


Mahogany @The Museum: BLK.LUV. The Love Jones 20th Anniversary Tribute Show ($)

Friday, February 10 at 8 PM

Come out for the kick off the 3rd season of Detroit’s largest poetry/live music series, Mahogany @ The Museum, with a celebration of black romance and the 20th anniversary of the classic movie, Love Jones.

Twisted Storytellers “Global Love Stories!” ($)

Friday, February 17 at 8 PM

The award winning Secret Society Of Twisted Storytellers presents a curated, live storytelling event featuring Real People. True Stories. Told Live. Hosted by creator and producer Satori Shakoor and featuring love stories from around the world.



All exhibitions are free with museum admission

 And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture

Permanent Exhibition

The core experience of The Wright Museum, this 22,000 square-foot exhibition takes visitors through time and across geographic boundaries from prehistoric Africa all the way to modern-day Detroit. Throughout, the efforts of everyday men and women who built families, businesses, educational institutions, spiritual traditions, civic organizations and a legacy of freedom and justice are hailed.

Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology

Permanent Exhibition

This high-tech exhibit highlights trailblazers, contemporaries and careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through interactive computer kiosks, a touchscreen video wall, and hands-on activities and play areas. Inspiring Minds introduces individuals from across the spectrum of fields, levels of renown, and from times past and present, with particular focus on African American women in science, black aviators, black inventors, medical ethics, and key historical figures such as George Washington Carver.

I See Me: Reflections in Black Dolls

Now Open

Organized by The Wright Museum, I See Me: Reflections in Black Dolls is designed for family enjoyment and doll collectors’ amazement. The exhibition features an array of black dolls, dating from the late 19th century to the present, including babies, fashion dolls, hand-crafted art dolls, and more from local and national collections.

Shaping the Vessel: Mascoll + Samuel  

Now through August 1, 2017

This exhibition of twenty-six exquisite works in wood celebrates two artists at the pinnacle of their careers – John Mascoll and Avelino Samuel – whose first tool, a wood lathe given to the world by the ancient Egyptians, has served as a springboard to imagination, flights of fancy, and ingenuity. Shaping the Vessel: Mascoll + Samuel was curated by Charles Farrar and organized by the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

Transitions of Walter Bailey: An Artist’s Retrospective

Now through May 28, 2017

Transitions of Walter Bailey: An Artist’s Retrospective features 50 years of Bailey’s artwork from the 1950’s to the present. Divided into four sections, the exhibition begins with early-childhood pencil drawings, his black expressionism work, “experimental era,” and ends with his current “Art Ain’t Flat No Mo” work. Bailey says, “My next transition will reflect (my) desire to explore new themes, styles, and genres for the next tumultuous decade.”

The Music and The Times: Photographs by Leni Sinclair

Now Open

Leni Sinclair is a renowned visual historian, photographer, social and political activist. Beginning in the 1960s, she documented live performances of legendary American and world musicians, especially those that performed in Detroit, Michigan. Featured are photographs of extraordinary musicians such as Bob Marley, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and many more, alongside a video presentation encompassing her photo documentation of the wider social and political milieu.

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