The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, or The Wright, is located in Detroit, Michigan, in the U.S.; inside the city’s Midtown Cultural Center is one of the world’s oldest independent African American museums. Founded in 1965, The Wright Museum holds the world’s largest permanent collection of African-American culture. With a collection of more than 35,000 artifacts, Wright’s current 125,000-square-foot museum opened as the largest museum in the world dedicated to African American history.
Charles H. Wright, a Detroit-based obstetrician, and gynecologist felt inspired to create a repository for African-American history after he visited a memorial to World War II heroes in Denmark during the mid-twentieth century. “I was committed to what I defined as ‘one of the most important tasks of our times,'” Dr. Wright would later remark, “ensuring that generations, especially young African Americans, are made aware of and take pride in the history of their forebears and their remarkable struggle for freedom.
Wright would eventually create the International Afro-American Museum (IAM) in 1965, and the doors opened in January 1966. The IAM was located at 1549 West Grand Boulevard in a house owned by Dr. Wright. The IAM featured galleries of African art and instruments, a collection of inventions by African Americans, and an exhibition on Civil Rights activists. Some exhibits included the inventions of Michigan native Elijah McCoy and masks from Nigeria and Ghana that Dr. Wright had acquired while visiting there. Wright also opened a traveling exhibit to tour the state.
And Still, We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture
And Still, We Rise is a permanent exhibit for The Wright that offers a comprehensive look at the history of African-American resilience. The two-story interactive journey takes guests from African kingdoms and the tragedy of the Middle Passage to the heroism of the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. M&H Pest Control Detroit
Ring of Genealogy
Located under The Wright’s world-famous dome is master muralist Hubert Massey’s 72-foot mural on the circular rotunda floor entitled “Genealogy.” It was inspired by the struggle of African Americans for freedom, education, economic empowerment, and social equality. High-end terrazzo, marble chips, and cement were used to create the ornate flooring.
African World Festival
Launched in 1983 in Hart Plaza, African World Festival (AWF) moved to the grounds of The Wright in 2012. AWF, the museum’s largest public outreach program, is a family-friendly event that welcomes more than 150,000 people over a three-day weekend in August. It is one of the largest cultural festivals in the Midwest dedicated to celebrating the histories and cultures of the Diaspora. The event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. In 2021, the event will resume as a hybrid event with in-person and virtual events. The Wright reportedly envisions returning the festival to Hart Plaza.
Address: 315 E Warren Ave, Detroit, MI
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