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The Wright Museum Hosts Screening & Discussion of “The House I Live In;” Sundance Grand Jury Prize-Winning Documentary Offers Poignant and Disturbing Look at the Devastating Impact of the War on Drugs

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The Wright Museum
Founded in 1965 and located in the heart of Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, t
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on Thursday, 23 January 2014
in Today in Black History

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will host a free screening of the thought-provoking documentary, “THE HOUSE I LIVE IN” on Thursday, January 30 at 6:30 pm. Immediately following will be a panel discussion featuring the film’s producer along with local activists and educators. This event is free and open to the public, and takes place at the museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit.

Since the 1970’s the war on drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests and cost more than $1 trillion. As a result, the United States has become the world’s largest jailer, and the high volume of drug arrests have destroyed low-income communities, creating a vicious cycle that must be stopped. Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, “THE HOUSE I LIVE IN ” offers a poignant look inside U.S. drug policy and its far-reaching impact. Executive Producers include Danny Glover, John Legend, Russell Simmons, and Brad Pitt. The film won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Following the screening will be panel discussion and Q&A session with the film’s producer, David Kuhn, who is partnering with a vast array of advocacy groups, legislators and law enforcement to spread the film’s message about the disastrous consequences of the failed war on drugs. Local panelists include Vondra Glass, Principal, Detroit Premier Academy; Yodit Mesfin Johnson, Director of Business Development, NEW; Kirk Mayes, Executive Director, Brightmoor Alliance; poet, author, and activist Jessica Care Moore; and author and community activist Yusef Shakur. This special event is hosted and moderated by recording and performance artist Mike Ellison.

THE HOUSE I LIVE IN Official Trailer:


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The Wright Museum Launches the Liberation Film Series; 10-Month Series includes Post-Film Conversations with Renowned Scholar-Activists

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Founded in 1965 and located in the heart of Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, t
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on Wednesday, 29 August 2012
in Today in Black History

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History opens its innovative Liberation Film Series with a free screening of “The Black Power Mixtape 1965-1975 Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 2 pm in its General Motors Theater.  Following the film will be a discussion entitled, “Lessons of the Black Power Movement,” led by Professors Gloria (Aneb) House of the University of Michigan - Dearborn, and Stephen Ward of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.

This film, produced by Danny Glover, features rare archival footage, which was hidden for over 30 years, of Angela Davis and Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), among others.  Dr. House asserts, “The first film of this series (is)… an intense retrospective on the Black Power Movement through riveting commentaries by some of its iconic leaders including Angela Davis, Kwame Ture, and Harry Belafonte.  Popular contemporary artists Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, and Abiodum Oyiwole of The Last Poets, reflect on the ways their own lives were influenced by these leaders and struggles of the period.  ‘Mixtape’ offers excellent insight to anyone who wishes to understand the groundswell for self-determination among African Americans during this period, 1960-1980.”

The Liberation Film Series takes place on a monthly basis at The Wright Museum.  What makes this program unique is its community engagement component that seeks to involve the youth, high school and university students, and the community at-large, in an engaging post-film “conversation” led by scholar-activists and/or community activist-leaders.  The critical driving force behind the series is the financial and consultative support of the Directors and distinguished professors of Black/Africana studies departments at sponsor universities, business leaders and community activists who have assisted Charles Ezra Ferrell, the series’ originator and Program Director, in its development.  Sponsors and contributors include Eastern Michigan University, The Media Education Foundation (MEF), Michigan State University, University of Detroit - Mercy, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, University of Michigan - Dearborn, Oakland University, Wayne County Community College District, Wayne State University, Good People Popcorn, Dr. Errol Henderson - Penn State University, and other leading scholars and community activists.

The 2012 - 2013 season of the Liberation Film Series runs through June 2013, and is free and open to the public.  For more information, including the complete series schedule and respective speaker profiles, discussion topics, trailers, reading lists, supplemental educational links, and insightful statements of endorsement, please visit, or call (313) 494-5820.

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Perfectly fine that Haiti is on my mind

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Leah Johnson is a University of Michigan- Dearborn graduate and she has a B.A. d
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on Thursday, 16 February 2012
in Today in Black History

I go to bed with something on my mind just about every night.


But the other night, I went to bed thinking of something that was the furthest thing from my mind earlier that day.


My thoughts were toward the people of Haiti, those who survived the devastating earthquake in 2010 and those that didn’t. I thought of them because I attended a film screening showing how the Haitian people were faring since this tragedy.


It was very moving.


What I loved most about this film was that it wasn’t about suffering, devastation or self-pity. Instead, it showed a people with a genuine sense of hope despite the fact that they’d lost everything in a 35-second destructive quake.


Then there were the images of Haiti itself. They were unlike what I’ve seen on TV or the news, where it often looks like a dump yard full of stranded black people. Rather, it was clean, even amidst the rubble. The people were clean and they yearned to work again to support themselves.


Just Like Job

Cathedral Quarter is one of the most symbolic places in the history of Haiti. In fact, the city was founded in that neighborhood in 1749. The location of the Cathedral is also the part of Haiti that was most devastated. After the quake, only the Cathedral’s ruins remain. Even now, many Haitians still return there, clasping the cast iron gate that partially surrounds the Cathedral. The Haitians consider those ruins to represent something above and beyond who they are. They are still hoping and praying to God, trusting in a higher being.


Then, enter into the film the story of Job from the bible, the man who lost everything but never once cursed God.


His story compares to the Haitians losing everything except for their faith in God. Like Job they refuse to abandon their spirituality or blame God for their misfortune.



It’s funny how people miles away from where I live can invade my mind with their personal stories of perseverance.


I’ve only seen the effects of the earthquake there, yet, the story of the Haitian people is touching and moving.


And I’m glad their story is on my mind.

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