"Know Your Org" is an informational series designed to spotlight some of the wonderful organizations in our community. This month we are highlighting Black History Month events at several local organizations.
February is Black History Month and a time to reflect upon the many contributions of Black Americans in history and to celebrate their accomplishments. Black History Month was first established as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a scholar and early proponent of recognizing the achievements of Black Americans everywhere. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976.
If you're looking for opportunities to celebrate locally, check out the following metro Detroit museums and churches. There's something for everyone and several are family friendly, too.
African American Cultural and History Museum of Washtenaw County – The AACHM was established in 1993 and is the only museum dedicated to Black history in Washtenaw County. Check out their current exhibit, "Family Foundations: Four Stories of Black Washtenaw County Community Building, 1850-1930" or contact the museum for a local tour.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History – Opened in 1966 as the International Afro-American Museum by Detroit-based obstetrician, Dr. Charles H. Wright, it has since expanded to 125,000 square feet and welcomes thousands of visitors every year. The museum is open year-round, and visitors can take advantage of their upcoming programs and special events.
Detroit Historical Museum – Founded in 1928 by the Detroit Historical Society, visitors can wander the museum for a glimpse of Detroit's past, including scenes of Detroit in the 1840s, 1870s and 1900s. Be sure to check out the Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad exhibit.
Detroit Institute of Arts – Spend the day at the museum admiring 60,000+ works of art including pieces featured in the Center for African American Art. Be sure to save some time to visit the Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898–1971 exhibit beginning February 4, 2024.
Riverside Arts Center – The Riverside Arts Center is a community hub for arts and culture in Ypsilanti and surrounding communities. Visit the Center throughout February for their second annual Black History Month Arts and Programming event.
Second Baptist Church of Detroit – Established in 1836, Second Baptist Church served as a station on the Underground Railroad, helping over 5,000 enslaved people find their way to Canada. Tours are available to learn more about the church and its pivotal role in bringing thousands to freedom.