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Voices of the Civil War Episode 33: "Women in the Civil War"

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OCTOBER 2014: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

The stories of Cathay Williams, Mary Bowser, Susie King Taylor, and Sojourner Truth demonstrate that African American women contributed to and aided Civil War efforts in a variety of crucial ways. Often lost, ignored, or simply overlooked in the history of the Civil War, these women’s stories serve as an important reminder of black women’s active roles and experiences during wartime.

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 31: "The Civil War & the Black Press"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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AUGUST 2014: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

In August of 1864, Thomas Morris Chester became the first African American war correspondent to work for a major daily newspaper in the United States. He became an eyewitness to fierce battles between the Union and Confederates and reported on the bravery of African American soldiers on the front lines.

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 30: "Battle of the Crater"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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JULY 2014: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

Stuck in a stalemate during a particularly hot and humid Virginia summer, on the morning of July 30, 1864, General Ambrose Burnside decided to take drastic measures: Union troops would dig a tunnel, pack it with explosives, and blow up the Confederate line. The explosion immediately killed 278 Confederate soldiers. For African American soldiers, the Battle of the Crater proved particularly devastating. Caught in the deep hole of the crater, black troops became easy targets of Confederate soldiers thirty feet above them, even as many tried to surrender. African American survivors of the Battle of the Crater viewed their sacrifice and valor on the battlefield as an integral process of transformation in American society that they hoped would result in the rights of full citizenship.

Credits

1 General Research & Reference Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

2, 4, 5, 7, 11-17, 19, 21-24 Library of Congress

3, 6, 9, 11, 12 Library of Congress

3, 6, 8-10 National Archives and Records Administration

18, 26 Painting by Don Troiani

20 Image courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and Cowan's Auctions

25 Photo courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc., Cincinnati, OH

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 29: "Equal Pay"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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JUNE 2014: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On June 15, 1864, Congress finally approved an act to equalize pay amongst all Union soldiers. African American soldiers were now paid $13 per month plus a $3.50 uniform allowance, equal to that of white soldiers. Nevertheless, Congress made a distinction between freed and formerly enslaved soldier in determining retroactive pay. This distinction divided African American regiments and lowered morale.

Credits

1 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

2, 7, 8, 14, 15 Public Domain

3, 6, 9, 11, 12 Library of Congress

4 State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/147904

5 Massachusetts Historical Society

10 GLC07345 Francis H. Fletcher, Letter to Jacob C. Safford, May 28, 1864 (Courtesy of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History)

13 Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida

16 Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 27 "Battle of Fort Pillow"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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April 2014: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On April 12, 1864, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest invaded the Union garrison at Fort Pillow, Tennessee with 1500 Confederate soldiers. Union Major Lionel F. Booth commanded the garrison with an estimated 600 troops. The Battle of Fort Pillow is often referred to as the Fort Pillow Massacre due to the overwhelming Union casualties, and as the Confederate army specifically targeted African American soldiers.

Credits

1, 18 Collection of Julia J. Norrell

2, 3, 5, 9 Library of Congress

4, 7, 11, 15, 16 General Research & Reference Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

6, 10, 12, 14, 17 Public Domain

8, 13 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 26 "1st Kansas Colored Infantry"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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on Wednesday, 26 March 2014
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March 2014: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On March 20, 1864 the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry fought in a battle at Roseville Creek, Arkansas. This infantry was the first black infantry to form and engage in combat in the north. Formed in August 1862 as the First Kansas Colored Infantry and re-designated on December 13, 1864 as the 79th U.S. Colored Troops, the recruits were freedom seekers from surrounding pro-slavery states like Arkansas and Missouri.

Credits

1,4-8, 12-15, 20 Kansas State Historical Society

2, 21 Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

9 Courtesy of Jaclyn Morgan

10 Courtesy of Roland Klose

11 Courtesy of Marla Quilts Inc. African American Quilt Museum and Textile Academy, Marla A. Jackson

16, 18 Image Courtesy of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

17, 19, 23 Library of Congress

22 National Register of Historic Places

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 25 "Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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FEBRUARY 2014: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On February 24, 1864, Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler overcame prejudices and severe constraints to become the first African American woman in the United States to earn a medical degree. During and after the Civil War, she cared for freed African Americans who would otherwise have had no access to medical care.

Credits

1, 7, 16 Sun Oil Company

2 - 3, 5 - 6, 10 - 13 Library of Congress

4, 14 Public Domain

8 Courtesy Pennsylvania Hospital Historic Collections, Philadelphia

9 Army Military History Institute Collection

15 Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Book

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Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice; free lecture & book signing features the only biography endorsed by Marshall’s family

Posted by The Wright Museum
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Young-ThurgoodProfessor and scholar Dr. Larry S. Gibson will discuss and sign copies of his latest book, Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice, the only biography on the celebrated jurist Thurgood Marshall to be endorsed by his family. This free takes place Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 2 pm at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit.

Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice is an exhaustively researched and engagingly written work that will be of interest to any everyone interested in law, civil rights, and American history. Thurgood Marshall was the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century. He transformed the nation's legal landscape by challenging the racial segregation that had relegated millions to second-class citizenship. He won twenty-nine of thirty-three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, was a federal appeals court judge, served as the U.S. solicitor general, and, for twenty-four years, sat on the U.S. Supreme Court. But Marshall's personality, attitudes, priorities, and work habits had crystallized during earlier years in Maryland.

Young Thurgood is the first close examination of the formative period in Marshall's life. Dr. Gibson presents fresh information about Marshall's family, youth, and education. He describes Marshall's key mentors, the special impact of his high school and college competitive debating, his struggles to establish a law practice during the Great Depression, and his first civil rights cases. The author also sheds new light on the NAACP and its first lawsuits in the campaign that led to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision, and corrects some of the often-repeated stories about Marshall that are inaccurate.

About the Author

Larry S. Gibson is a professor of law at the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law, where he teaches Evidence, Election Law, Race and the Law, and Civil Procedure. Gibson is a graduate of Howard University and Columbia University School of Law and has practiced law in Maryland. Also a civil rights activist and advocate, Gibson participated in the 1963 March on Washington, engaged in sit-in demonstrations, and lobbied for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He has also acted as legal counsel to several civil rights organizations and leaders.

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Liberation Film Series presents "Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice;" free film screening and discussion highlight fight against lynching, past and present

Posted by The Wright Museum
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IdaBWells-APassionForJustice-nocrops-1On the heels of the conviction of Michael Dunn for three counts of attempted second-degree murder, and a mistrial in the first-degree murder charge for the death of Jordan Davis, the February installment of the Liberation Film Series features the documentary, Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice, focused on Ms. Wells’ mission which remains relevant today given the tragic results of contemporary “stand your ground” laws, racial profiling, stop-and-frisk police tactics, the escalating incarceration of black males, and the culture of violence with which American communities continue to struggle. The film will be followed by a discussion led by Dr. Melba Joyce Boyd, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, Wayne State University, entitled, “Our Strongest Voice Against the Ubiquitous Lynching of Black America.” This free event takes place Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 2 pm at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit.

Passion for Justice provides an overview of the life of Ida Bell Wells Barnett (1862 - 1931).  Born into slavery on July 16, 1862, in Holly Springs, Mississippi, she became one of the leading African American journalists and activists of her time. She came into the national spotlight in 1884, when she refused to give up her seat on a train and had to be ejected by two men.  She sued the railroad company for discrimination and won, but this decision was subsequently overturned by a higher court.

Wells’ stand against discrimination and racial violence became the mantra for her activist journalism, especially on the subject of lynching. She was the co-owner of the Memphis Free Press, and in 1892 when three of her friends, Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Henry Stewart, were lynched because their small grocery store had taken away customers from a competing white business, Wells reported the crime in her paper. Consequently, her printing equipment was destroyed by a mob and her life publically threatened in an article that appeared in the Memphis daily newspaper. Forced into exile, she began writing for Thomas T. Fortune’s newspaper, The New York Age, under the pseudonym “Iola.”

After she married Attorney Ferdinand Barnett and permanently moved to Chicago, she became the editor of The Conservator, a newspaper Barnett had previously owned and operated. Throughout her life Ida B. Wells advocated for equal rights for blacks and for women. She was a part of the leadership of major activist organizations, alongside persons such as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Frances E.W. Harper, and W.E.B. Du Bois. She even sought elected office later in life. Her name is the one most often associated with the fight against lynching and other terrorist activities that threatened and undermined the African American community during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. 

Directed by William Greaves, Passion for Justice has appeared on public television stations and in classrooms throughout the nation and internationally. It provides an excellent introduction and overview of Wells’ dynamic life and the critical roles she played to advance democratic and economic rights from African Americans and women.

About the Liberation Film Series

The Liberation Film Series is supported by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and the Black/African Studies Departments of Michigan State University, University of Michigan - Dearborn, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne County Community College District, Oakland University, and University of Massachusetts – Amherst, National Council of Black Studies, Dr. Errol Henderson (Pennsylvania State University), Media Education Foundation, The Walter P. Reuther Library – Wayne State University, Fashion International, Black & White Look Optical Corporation, Wayne State University Press, Bentley Historical Library - University of Michigan, University Prep Science & Math High School, Nandi’s Book Store, community activists, and individual contributors.

The 2013 - 2014 season of the Liberation Film Series runs through June 2014, 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 www.thewright.org/liberation.

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President's Message, February 2014: Rochelle Riley Writes: "Do The Wright Thing!"

Posted by Juanita Moore
Juanita Moore
Juanita Moore, President & CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African Americ
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on Thursday, 13 February 2014
in Today in Black History

By now you’ve probably seen one of Rochelle Riley's columns about the financial needs of The Wright Museum in the Detroit Free Press:

"Wright museum needs financial footing in Detroit bankruptcy plan,"

"Detroit's African-American museum needs to be spared, too,"

"Who will step up to inspire the Wright museum's salvation?"

We are most grateful for Rochelle’s words of support, and in response, the outpouring of support we’ve received from the community. Rest assured, with your help the museum is not going anywhere. But the columns do make an important point – that The Wright needs both city and community support to be sustainable, and there’s no better time than Black History Month, when all eyes are trained on the museum and its programming, to make those needs known. 

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, known as the founder of Black History Month and “father” of Black history, could only dedicate a few months per year to schooling, and didn’t enter high school until the age of 20. By his 37th birthday, however, he had earned his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College in Kentucky, served as a school supervisor in the Philippines, was awarded Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees from the University of Chicago, and completed his PhD in history at Harvard University, only the second African American (after W.E.B. DuBois) to do so. Dr. Woodson understood the impact education and knowing one's history could have, as illustrated by his fervent commitment to it. He believed all people needed to know and understand African American history, both as a source of pride and self-respect for Black people, and as a basis for equality and respect from society as a whole.

Dr. Charles Wright wanted much the same thing, and The Wright is a direct result of his passion for African American history and culture, and belief in the impact access to it could have on the community. As Rochelle stated, “Leaders… realized that the museum’s value was not just in teaching African-American children about their heritage, but… in teaching all Americans about African-American contributions through history.”

Nevertheless, support from the City of Detroit, which owns the museum, its property, and its collections, has dropped more than 63% since 2009, and staffing has been reduced by 66%. We have done everything possible to do more, with less. Your support now can help us do more than ever before. Please give.

African American history was clearly worthy of the passion and interest of Dr. Woodson and Dr. Wright, and is certainly worthy of our support. You can do the “Wright” thing today – and there’s no better time than Wright now!

do-the-wright-donate-now2

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 24 "African Americans and the Confederate Army"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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on Thursday, 23 January 2014
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JANUARY 2014: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

By the end of 1863, with the Confederate army lacking resources, funds, and manpower, it had become clear to Confederate General Patrick Cleburne that the south desperately needed to find ways to recruit new soldiers for the rebel cause. Calling it “a plan which we believe will save our country,” in January 1864, he called upon the leaders of the Army of the Tennessee and proposed the emancipation of slaves in order to enlist them in the Confederate war effort. In Episode 24 we explore the role of African Americans in the Confederate States Army.

Credits

1, 9, 10 National Archives and Records Administration

2, 3, 5-8, 11-14, 17-20, 22, 24 Library of Congress

4 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

15 Alabama Department of Archives and History

16 Virginia Historical Society

21 New York Historical Society

23 Riddick’s Folly Museum House

25 Harper’s Weekly

26 Tom Farish Collection

27 Personal Collection of Andrew Chandler Battaile

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 23 "Robert Smalls"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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DECEMBER 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

In December 1863, a lifelong slave named Robert Smalls became the first black captain of a United States vessel. From that point onward, he would earn $150 per month, making him one of the war's highest paid black soldiers. But Smalls' most memorable accomplishment came a year earlier, in one of the most audacious acts of the Civil War.

Credits

1, 2, 4 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

3, 8, 10-14 Library of Congress

5, 9 U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-civil/civsh-p/planter.htm

6 The Planter, Official Records of the Navies, Series 1, Vol. 12.

Courtesy of the Beaufort District Collection, Beaufort County Library

7 Hagley Museum and Library

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 22 "The Gettysburg Address"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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NOVEMBER 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On November 19, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, just 272 words, lasting 3 minutes. The location of the Gettysburg Address had its own special resonance for African-Americans. Since the eighteenth century, the town of Gettysburg had maintained a small, vibrant African-American community. But during the Battle of Gettysburg, the two armies damaged or destroyed much of the property belonging to African-Americans, and many of the black residents who fled the town did not return. Though no one could mistake the meaning of the "new birth of freedom", the Gettysburg Address remained silent about the fate of African-Americans. The "great task" mentioned by Lincoln was not emancipation, but the preservation of self-government. Though words cannot end a war or bind up a nation's wounds, the Gettysburg Address lives on as perhaps the most significant speech in American history.

Credits

1, 3, 9, 11 National Archives and Records Administration

2, 5, 7-8, 10, 12, 13, 15-20, 24 - 25 Library of Congress

4, 6 Massachusetts Historical Society

14 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library

21, 23 Adams County Historical Society, Gettysburg, PA

22 Courtesy of Special Collections/Musselman Library, Gettysburg College

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Underground Railroad Expert to Speak on the Legacy of Black Resistance; Free Event at The Wright Museum Celebrates Launch of New History Website

Posted by The Wright Museum
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Humanities scholar Mr. Hari Jones, Curator/Assistant Director of the National African American Civil War Museum of Washington D.C., will speak on the Underground Railroad and its legacy of Black resistance at a free event to mark the launch of a new educational website Sunday, November 10, 2013, at 2 pm at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Created over three years with the collaborative effort of the museum, Eastern Michigan University’s School of Education, Michigan-based scholars, and with backing from the U.S. Department of Education, The Struggle Against Slavery website (www.UGRRonline.com) contains historical scholarship on the 19th century struggle for civil rights, using the Underground Railroad as a case study. It situates the American abolitionist movement as an important precursor to later and continuing struggles for civil rights. Designed for all ages, the website includes encyclopedic entries, interactive maps, and video interviews of descendants of abolitionists and freedom seekers, with a focus on activities in Michigan and the Midwest. In addition to numerous iconic photos and artworks, many visual elements included in the project have rarely been seen.

The website’s educational resources include K-12 lesson plans, classroom-ready PowerPoint presentations, and downloadable instructional materials, including a complete online course consisting of 12 lectures by Dr. Roy Finkenbine, Professor of History at the University of Detroit-Mercy. Voices of the Civil War, The Wright Museum’s monthly retrospective video series on African American perspectives during the great conflict, is also integrated into the site.

The November 10 launch event is free and open to the public, and will include a screening of select segments of the PBS film The Abolitionists as well as the lecture by Mr. Jones, noted scholar and expert on the Underground Railroad who has appeared on C-SPAN, NPR, and other national media outlets.

The Struggle Against Slavery is made possible by the United States Department of Education. Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 21 "Sojourner Truth"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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OCTOBER 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

The women's rights movement in America was directly influenced by the work of the abolitionist movement. By 1863, the abolitionist and women's rights advocate Sojourner Truth had spent more than twenty years speaking out against slavery. She was a remarkable case, but the Civil War saw many female heroes. During the war, American women threw themselves into public life with an enthusiasm born out of a sense of duty.

Credits

1, 2, 11 New York Public Library

3-5, 7-8, 12-13, 15-16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25-27, 29-30 Library of Congress

6 Corbis

9, 17, 28, 31 Public Domain

10 Willard Library

14, 24 Documenting the American South, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries

19 Detroit Public Library

21 Savannah College of Art and Design, Charles White

32 U.S. Army Center of Military History - Army Military History Institute Collection

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Author & Scholar to Speak on Midwest Renaissance & Origins of Black Chicago & Detroit; DPTV and The Wright Museum Team Up to Help Educators Teach Black History

Posted by The Wright Museum
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During the period known as the Great Migration, over 5 million African Americans moved north and west across the United States in search of a better life. Author, scholar, and professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University Dr. Darlene Clark Hine will discuss African American geographic movement and its impact on American history in a free lecture Thursday, October 24, 2013, at 6 pm. Preceding the lecture will be a special professional development opportunity for educators centered on the new PBS mini-series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. Both programs take place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit.
 Clark-Hine
Dr. Darlene Clark Hine’s historical research has been expansive and groundbreaking, and she has written a variety of scholarly works and textbooks, many of which are used in high school and college settings. Dr. Hine’s recent work on the impact of the Great Migration to Midwestern cities like Chicago and Detroit sheds light on the ways in which African Americans created and re-created a sense of cultural community and renaissance in the midst of oppressive conditions. After the lecture, Dr. Hine will sign copies of The Black Chicago Renaissance (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012), co-edited by Darlene Clark Hine and John M. McCluskey. This free event is co-sponsored by the Detroit organizing branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
 
Detroit Public Television, in partnership with The Wright Museum and The Michigan Historical Museum, will host a professional development opportunity from 1 pm until 5 pm on Thursday, October 24, 2013, in which educators will have an opportunity to tour The Wright Museum, hear from an expert on Michigan’s African American history, learn about local history resources, and be given a demonstration of the educational resources and lesson plans offered with The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. This six-part mini-series is hosted by scholar-activist Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and examines the 400-year history of African Americans, from the origins of slavery in Africa to President Obama’s election. It premieres on DPTV on October 22, 2013, at 8 PM EST. Staff members from LAB@Thirteen and WNET’s Educational and Community Outreach Department in New York will lead the series overview and lesson plan demonstration.
 
The professional development opportunity program is free for educators, but attendees should RSVP by contacting Heather Forgione at Detroit Public Television at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (248) 305-3707. The Great Migration lecture and book signing by Dr. Darlene Clark Hine is free and open to the public.

Educators-Event-10.24.13-revised2

About Dr. Darlene Clark Hine

Since 2004, Darlene Clark Hine has been Professor of African American Studies and Professor of History at Northwestern University. Previously, she was Professor of History at Michigan State University (1987-2004). She has taught at Purdue University (1974-1987), and at South Carolina State University (1972-1974). She is a graduate of Roosevelt University (1968, Chicago, IL) and earned her PhD at Kent State University (1975). Hine is the author of Black Victory: The Rise and Fall of the Democratic White Primary in Texas (1979, rev. 2005, University of Missouri Press); and Black Women in White: Racial Conflict and Cooperation in the Nursing Profession, 1890-1950 (Indiana University Press, 1989). She is co-editor (with Rosalyn Terborg-Penn and Elsa Barkley Brown) of Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia ( 2 vols.1994), and editor of Black Women in America (3 vols, Oxford University Press, 2005). She is co-editor with Trica Daniele Keaton and Stephen Smalls of Black Europe and the African Diaspora (2009). Hine is past-president of The Organization of American Historians, and of The Southern Historical Association. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006). Hine has held fellowships at the National Humanities Center, The Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, and at the Radcliffe Institute.

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 20 "The Medal of Honor"

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SEPTEMBER 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

More than 180,000 African American soldiers served in the Union Army during the Civil War and of these, sixteen earned the Medal of Honor. Soldiers like Sergeant William H. Carney, Private James Daniel Gardner, Corporal Miles James, Thomas R. Hawkins and Christian Fleetwood were awarded for personal acts of valor that were above and beyond the call of duty. Fourteen of the sixteen Medals of Honor awarded were given away for actions at the Battle of New Market Heights, where over 50 percent of the black troops were killed, wounded, or captured.

Credits

1, 3, 10 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

2 Clements Library of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

4, 7-10, 12, 14-18 Library of Congress

5 Massachusetts Historical Society

6 National Archives and Records Administration

11 General Research & Reference Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

13 County of Henrico, Virginia, Historic Preservation and Museum Services

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 19 "Douglass and Lincoln"

Posted by The Wright Museum
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on Wednesday, 21 August 2013
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AUGUST 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On August 9, 1863, Frederick Douglass met with President Abraham Lincoln to discuss the fair treatment and equal pay of African American soldiers within the Union Army. Although African American soldiers had proven themselves in battle, recruitment declined as black soldiers still faced racial discrimination and prejudice. Douglass expressed three specific grievances directly to President Lincoln and Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, in an effort to improve the treatment of African American soldiers.

Credits

1-3, 6-7, 9-13, 16-20, 23 Library of Congress

4 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

5, 21 National Archives and Records Administration

8, 22 Massachusetts Historical Society

14-15 Wikimedia Commons

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Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints Opens National Tour at The Wright Museum with Free Public Reception

Posted by The Wright Museum
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The first major U.S. traveling exhibition of popular art from the Northeast of Brazil will open its U.S. tour at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit, with a free public reception on August 15, 2013, from 6 pm – 9 pm. 

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints – Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil presents popular art (the art of ordinary people) from Brazil’s northeast to tell the story of how African, European, and indigenous cultural traditions have interacted over a period of more than 500 years to form this distinctive regional culture in Brazil. Beginning with a Portuguese colonial settlement in the early-1500s, nearly a century before the first permanent British settlement at Jamestown, the exhibition brings to life the people, the captivating history, and the culture of the largest country in South America. 

Through nearly 200 works of art, visitors will learn about slavery in Brazil, the plantation economy, popular heroes and heroic acts of resistance in the face of adversity, and the raucous escapades of legendary outlaws and bandits of Brazil’s “Wild West” – a history that inspires us to think of parallels to our own in the United States. Visitors will also encounter the widely practiced spiritual traditions that give meaning and cohesiveness to people’s lives in Brazil’s Northeast. Woodblock prints and carved wood figures of Catholic saints and forged iron symbols of African deities – called orixás – introduce popular Catholicism and the ecstatic African-Brazilian religion called Candomblé. In the exhibition, life-size mannequins of the orixás wearing the colorful ceremonial vestments of Candomblé seem to dance in front of video footage of a Candomblé ceremony actually filmed in Bahia. 

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints has been organized by Con/Vida – Popular Arts of the Americas, in partnership with The Wright Museum.  Exhibition curators Marion (Mame) Jackson, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History, Wayne State University; and Barbara Cervenka, O.P., Professor Emerita of Art, Siena Heights University, have traveled extensively in Brazil’s Northeast during the past 20 years. They have worked directly with popular artists and scholars in this poorest region of Brazil to organize this exhibition. 

“While the Northeast is materially poor compared to Rio and São Paulo and the cities of the South of Brazil,” observes Cervenka, “the culture is vibrant and rich and filled with good humor. The Northeast is considered the historic and cultural ‘heart’ of Brazil.”

The strong African presence in the Northeast of Brazil can be felt throughout the exhibit, especially in the percussive rhythms of its music. “Sound tracks and amazing video clips accompany the art and will linger in the minds and imaginations of visitors long after they leave” says Jackson. “All cities have their rhythms - but not all cities have such dramatic and percussive rhythms as Salvador and Detroit.”

Bandits & Heroes includes nearly 200 works of art by more than 50 artists who draw inspiration from their local culture and make a living through their art. In addition, two eminent Brazilian photographers – Adenor Gondim and Antônio Neto – have collaborated on this exhibition, providing unusual photos and video footage showing the lively festivals, ceremonies, and pilgrimages that shape life in the Northeast.

“That’s my cousin… that’s my aunt,” exclaimed Juanita Moore, President & CEO of The Wright Museum, upon viewing one of the exhibition’s videos celebrating the diversity of Brazil’s Northeast in the faces of its people. “This is a very important exhibition,” said Moore. “We are proud to collaborate with Con/Vida and inaugurate its national tour at The Wright Museum.”

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints – Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil opens at The Wright Museum with a free public reception on August 15, 2013 from 6 pm – 9 pm, which will also feature demonstrations of the folkloric Brazilian art of Capoeira Angola of Bahia by TABCAT Detroit. This event is free and open to the public.

The Wright Museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am until 5 pm, and on Sundays from 1 until 5 pm. Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints will be on display through January 5, 2014, and during normal museum hours is free with museum admission, which is $8 for adults (ages 13-61), and $5 for seniors (62+) and youth (3-12). Admission is free for museum members and children under 3. After January 5, 2014, the exhibit is scheduled to travel to the DuSable Museum, Chicago, Illinois; the Robert W. Woodruff Library at the Atlanta University Center, Atlanta, Georgia; and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Funding for Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints has been provided by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities and the Michigan Humanities Council, with additional support from Wayne State University, TechTown, and the Adrian Dominican sisters.

Con/Vida – Popular Arts of the Americas
Established in 2000 by university professors Marion (Mame) Jackson, Wayne State University, and Barbara Cervenka, Siena Heights University, Con/Vida is a non-profit organization located in Detroit’s TechTown and is dedicated to fostering understanding for the diverse cultures of the Americas through exhibitions and programs featuring the arts of ordinary people, showcasing particularly the cultures of Brazil and Peru.  Cervenka and Jackson have circulated traveling exhibitions to more than 50 museums and cultural centers in the U.S. and Canada in the last 20 years; these exhibitions have been viewed by approximately 500,000 people. For more information visit www.convida.org

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Founded in 1965 and located in the heart of Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. The Wright Museum provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African Americans and their African origins.
For more information visit: www.TheWright.org

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 18 "New York Draft Riot"

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on Saturday, 20 July 2013
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JULY 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

The New York City Draft Riot, similar to the Detroit Draft Riot, was caused by the exemption clause of the Enrollment Act of Conscription and racial tensions between African Americans and white citizens. On July 13, 1863, rioters gathered outside of the Provost Marshal office, attacking the officers, setting fire to the building, and eventually burning down the entire block. African Americans throughout the city were beaten, tortured, and even killed. The riot ended on July 16, 1863, after 105 people died and at least 11 black men were lynched.

Credits

1, 4-6, 9-10, 12-13, 19, 22. Library of Congress

2. To the Laboring Men of New York, 18 July 1863 (litho)
American School, (19th century)
Gilder Lehrman Collection, New York, USA
The Bridgeman Art Library

3, 7, 8, 14-18, 20-21. General Research & Reference Division
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,
The New York Public Library
Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

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