2015 Black History Month at The Wright Museum; Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations Include Highest Profile Month of the Year Programming - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

2015 Black History Month at The Wright Museum; Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations Include Highest Profile Month of the Year Programming

Woodson Week, presented in partnership with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Detroit and the U.S. National Park Service, recognizes the centennial year of ASALH through weeklong programming Monday, February 2 through Saturday, February 7, including performances, a film screening, and discussions covering men’s health, educational achievement, and policing in the black community.

The Foundation for Women in Hip Hop and the J Dilla Foundation present Dilla Youth Day Sunday, February 8, honoring the legacy of the late Detroit producer and rapper J Dilla. Children and teens will discover the world of hip hop through hands-on activities, participate in leadership development workshops sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Detroit Branch, and receive scholarship opportunities from the Detroit Institute Music Education.

The capstone event for The Wright’s Black History Month is Oh, Freedom! A Musical Journey Through African American History starring Grammy Award-winning artist Patti Austin, a 75-voice gospel choir selected from the metropolitan Detroit community, and orchestra. This special production celebrates the museum’s 50th anniversary as it commemorates 500 years of African American history through music, song, and the spoken word, and takes place Sunday, March 1 at 7 pm at the Detroit Opera House. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra box office, all Ticketmaster outlets and by phone at 800-745-3000.

Additionally, each Saturday of the month features free children’s programming including workshops exploring the visual and performing arts, and S.TE.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities based on the museum’s Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science & Technology exhibit. Families and individuals are also encouraged to purchase memberships, which provide free admission and benefits for a year. Individual ($35) and family ($65) memberships can be purchased online, at the museum or by calling (313) 494-5872.

About the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Founded in 1965 and located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, The Wright Museum is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. For more information, please visit TheWright.org

 SPECIAL EVENTS

Woodson Week presented by ASALH Detroit and the National Park Service
February 2 – 7, 2015

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History hosts the Woodson Week Centennial Celebration of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This weeklong celebration co-hosted by ASALH Detroit and the National Parks Service honors Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month, with a series of lectures and performances. Information on individual events is available at TheWright.org.

African World Bazaar
Saturday, February 7 from 12 – 8 pm
Recognize Black History Month by patronizing black businesses, local and from afar. Vendors will be displaying and selling a variety of products, including art, jewelry, handmade crafts, textiles, organic goods, and much, much more! The Bazaar starts at noon and transforms into an evening marketplace featuring live entertainment. Vendor spaces are available; if interested, please email gettotheroot@truerootmarketing.com or call Carlotta at (313) 757-0317. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1316-african-world-bazaar

Artist's Studio Workshop featuring Shirley Woodson ($)
Saturday, February 21 at 11 am
This inaugural Artist's Studio Workshop features artist Shirley Woodson, who will guide you through a personal exploration of the mesmerizing art of collage. In a light-hearted, non-judgmental atmosphere, you will create your own personal statement - about life, love, history, and personal reflections - through the collage medium. Since 1974, Woodson has been a member of the national executive board of the National Conference of Artists and in 1997 she was elected president of the Michigan chapter. Her paintings of African American life are a part of 22 collections housed by the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Museum of the National Center for Afro American Artists (Boston), Detroit Edison, the Toledo Art Commission, Florida A&M University and Seagrams. Admission is $25 or $15 for museum members. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1311-artists-studio-workshop-featuring-shirley-woodson

Oh Freedom! A Musical Journey Through African American History starring Patti Austin ($)
Sunday, March 1 at 7 pm

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Ford Motor Company, and Macy's present "Oh, Freedom! A Musical Journey Through African American History" featuring Grammy Award-winner Patti Austin, a choir with 75 of Detroit’s finest voices, and orchestra at the Detroit Opera House. This special production is the capstone event for The Wright's 2015 Black History Month and celebrates the museum's 50th anniversary as it commemorates 500 years of African American history through music, song, and the spoken word. Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Detroit Opera House box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. Charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1295-oh-freedom-a-musical-journey-through-african-american-history

 FAMILY

Family Activity Series
Every Saturday in February at 12 pm
Join in the celebration of The Wright's 50th anniversary with this regular Saturday activity series for the whole family! Featured in February will be dance (February 7), visual arts (February 14), jazz singing (February 21), and dramatic acting for kids (February 28)! Free.

Links to Science presented by the Renaissance Chapter of The Links, Incorporated
Saturdays, February 7 & 14 at 1:30 pm
Links to Science is an exciting new series of free children’s workshops designed to explore the Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science & Technology exhibit, which explores achievements in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through interactive computer kiosks, a touchscreen video wall, and hands-on activities. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1304-links-to-science-presented-by-the-renaissance-chapter-of-the-links-inc

Ford Free Second Sunday
Sunday, February 8 from 1 - 5 pm

Bring your family and friends to experience the wonder of The Wright Museum with free admission every second Sunday of the month courtesy of Ford Motor Company! Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1293-ford-free-second-sunday

Dilla Youth Day

Sunday, February 8 from 2 – 5 pm

Discover the dynamic world of hip hop - try your hands at a turntable or ripping the mic while honoring the legacy of famed Detroit record producer and hip hop artist J Dilla! Presented by the J Dilla Foundation and the Foundation for Women in Hip Hop. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1305-dilla-youth-day-presented-by-the-j-dilla-foundation

Don Barden Foundation Interactive Storytime

Sunday, February 8 at 2 pm

Where music, movement, and literacy collide, this interactive story performance will put your kids in the story! Children take a free book home afterwards! Made possible by the support of the Don Barden Foundation and General Motors Foundation. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1294-childrens-interactive-storytime

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

Saturday, February 28 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 around the Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology exhibit! David Head & colleagues from the David L. Head Foundation will discuss African American trailblazers and their inventions and contributions to science. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1313-meet-the-scientist-saturday-featuring-david-head-a-dr-terrance-dillard

 PERFORMANCE

Urban Stringz Performance: A Celebration of Heritage & Music ($)

Wednesday, February 4 at 6 pm

Urban Stringz Youth Ensemble presents a musical performance of African American music through various periods of history, with narration provided by Chauncy Glover. This program is a part of Woodson Week Centennial Celebration of ASALH, a weeklong celebration co-hosted by ASALH Detroit and the National Parks Service in honor of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month. Admission is $20. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1299-urban-stringz-performance-a-celebration-of-heritage-a-music

Mahogany @ The Museum #5: BLK/LUV ($)

Friday, February 13 at 7 pm

The legacy of Café Mahogany lives on at The Wright with performances by Res, LaShaun Phoenix Moore, Kenny Watson, Satori Shakoor, a discussion on love and relationships by author Dr. Eddie M. Connor Jr., and much more. Hosted by Joel Fluent Greene. Tickets and info at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1208513

Jazz Tribute Concert to Detroit Trailblazers ($)
Sunday, February 15 at 6 pm
Detroit trailblazers in various fields will be honored through music. Make this spectacular jazz concert the highlight of your Valentine's weekend!
http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1319-jazz-tribute-concert-to-detroit-trailblazers

The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers present “Love & War” ($)

Friday, February 20 at 8 pm

The award-winning Secret Society Of Twisted Storytellers presents a curated, live storytelling event featuring Real People. True Stories. Told Live. Featuring Twisted Storytellers Tameka Citchen-Spruce, Ken Gray, Amelia Lehto, Beausuny Love and Marsha Music. Musical Guest Gwen Foxx. Dance Guests Tara Green & Steve Johnson. Hosted by Moth Mainstage Storyteller & Host, Satori Shakoor. For info, tickets and to watch videos of past performances, visit http://www.secretstorytellers.com.

 FILM

500 Years Later Film Screening & Discussion
Friday, February 6 at 6 pm
The Michigan Association of Black Social Workers, Inc. presents an eye-opening film screening of "500 Years Later," an award-winning documentary written by Molefi Asante charting the legacy of slavery and its direct and indirect links to crime, drugs, HIV/AIDS, poor education, inferiority complex, low expectations, poverty, corruption, poor health, and underdevelopment to African people globally. This program is a part of Woodson Week Centennial Celebration of ASALH, a weeklong celebration co-hosted by ASALH Detroit and the National Parks Service in honor of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1301-q500-years-laterq-film-screening-a-discussion

Liberation Film Series Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners Screening & Discussion
Saturday, February 21 at 2 pm
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History presents a free screening of "Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners" followed by a community conversation led by Dr. Ahmad Rahman, associate professor of history at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. "Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners" chronicles the high stakes crime, political movement, and trial that catapults the 26 year-old newly appointed philosophy professor at the University of California at Los Angeles into a seventies revolutionary political icon. Nearly forty years later, and for the first time, Angela Davis speaks frankly about the actions that branded her as a terrorist and simultaneously spurred a worldwide political movement for her freedom. Free.
http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1314-liberation-film-series-qfree-angela-davis-and-all-political-prisonersq-screening-a-discussion

Voices of the Civil War Episode 37

Wednesday, February 25 online at TheWright.org/voices

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 blog, where you can view new and previous episodes at www.TheWright.org/voices.

 HEALTH & WELLNESS

Hustle for History Weekly Dance Lessons ($)

Sundays at 5 pm

Get your groove on with our weekly hustle dance lessons taught by instructor Thomasenia Johnson of Two Left Feet. Work your muscles, strengthen your bones and have a ball while supporting the Museum's ongoing membership efforts - this activity is great for all ages! Free for Members, $7 for non-members. Purchase 5 lessons and receive a complimentary museum membership, making your next 12 months of hustle lessons FREE! http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1289-hustle-for-history-weekly-dance-lessons

30 Days To Lose It! Weekly Workouts ($)

Tuesdays at 7:30 pm

Keep your workout living to the beat with a weekly Hustle for Health workout with Thomasenia Johnson of Two Left Feet. Free for members, $5 for non-members. Attend 8 consecutive sessions and receive a complimentary museum membership, making your next 12 months FREE! For more information please email 30days@chwmuseum.org. 30 Days to Lose It! is sponsored by Beaumont Health System and St. John Providence Health System, and endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1285-30-days-to-lose-it-weekly-workout

 LECTURES & MEETINGS

Black Men’s Health: A State of Emergency? Panel Discussion

Monday, February 2 at 6 pm

To kick off Woodson Week, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Nu Omega Chapter of Detroit presents a dynamic panel discussion featuring leading health experts and physicians to discuss pressing issues concerning black men’s health. This program is a part of Woodson Week Centennial Celebration of ASALH, a weeklong celebration co-hosted by ASALH Detroit and the National Parks Service in honor of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1297-black-mens-health-a-state-of-emergency-panel-discussion

I Can’t Breathe: Black Men, Policing, & America Panel Discussion

Tuesday, February 3 at 6 pm

For the second day of Woodson Week, the Metropolitan Detroit Alliance of Black School Educators presents an energetic performance and panel discussion exploring the state of black men in America today. Reflecting on the recent tragedies in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, this event will explore concerns of black males in America today. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1298-i-cant-breathe-black-men-policing-a-america-performance-a-discussion

Living Legacies of Hope: Desegregation, Literacy, & Black Achievement Discussion & Book Giveaway

Thursday, February 5 at 6 pm

The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., in partnership with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and Gamma Phi Delta Sorority, Inc. present an inspiring panel discussion moderated by Dr. Eddie Connor and Mrs. Kim Trent about desegregation and the current state of education today. Outstanding local black educators will receive awards, and free children’s books will be distributed to families in attendance. This program is a part of Woodson Week Centennial Celebration of ASALH, a weeklong celebration co-hosted by ASALH Detroit and the National Parks Service in honor of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1300-living-legacies-of-hope-desegregation-literacy-a-black-achievement-discussion-a-book-giveaway

Hip Hop and History: A Re-Education Lecture by Dr. Pero Dagbovie

Saturday, February 7 at 3 pm

The Woodson Week celebration closes out with “Hip Hop and History: A Re-Education,” a lecture by Dr. Pero Dagbovie, Michigan State University Professor of History. A drum call will be presented, along with a spoken word presentation and remarks by a member of Carter G. Woodson’s family. This program is a part of Woodson Week Centennial Celebration of ASALH, a weeklong celebration co-hosted by ASALH Detroit and the National Parks Service in honor of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1302-qhip-hop-and-history-a-re-educationq-lecture-by-dr-pero-dagbovie

ASALH Detroit General Membership Meeting

Sunday, February 15 at 3 pm

If you are interested in and passionate about Black history, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Detroit branch is the group for you! The ASALH collects materials on Black history and promotes the results to the public through events and organizational activities; members represent a broad spectrum of academic preparations, career experiences, and interests. To learn more please contact Ms. Kathie House, President of the ASALH Detroit Branch at (313) 549-0335, or Mr. Tyrone Davenport, Chief Operating Officer at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, at (313) 494-5884 or tdavenport@thewright.org">tdavenport@thewright.org. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1308-asalh-detroit-general-membership-meeting

African World Festival Community Advisory Meeting

Wednesday, February 18 at 6 pm

Would you like to share your ideas and comments about the upcoming African World Festival? If so, please come to one of the upcoming AWF Community Advisory Meetings to be held monthly on the third Wednesday in the Latimer Café on the lower level. All are invited to share ideas, resources, and support as we plan for the 33rd annual African World Festival, which takes place Friday - Sunday, August 14 - 16, 2015 on the grounds of The Wright Museum. Your participation will insure it's the best AWF yet! Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1318-african-world-festival-community-advisory-meeting

My Brother’s Keeper: African Canadians & the American Civil War Lecture & Book Signing

Sunday, February 22 at 3 pm

Author Bryan Prince will speak on his newly-published book, "My Brother’s Keeper: African Canadians & the American Civil War." On New Year's Eve in 1862, blacks from across British North America joined in spirit with their American fellows in silent vigils to await the enactment of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The terms declared that slaves who were held in the districts that were in rebellion would be free and that blacks would now be allowed to enlist in the Union Army and participate in the civil war that had then raged for more than a year and a half. African Canadians who had fled from the United States had not forgotten their past and eagerly sought to do their part in securing rights and liberty for all. Leaving behind their freedom in Canada, many enlisted in the Union cause. Books will be for sale, and the author will sign books following the lecture. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1315-qmy-brothers-keeper-african-canadians-a-the-american-civil-warq-lecture-a-book-signing

S.O.S. (Strengthening Our Sons) Detroit: A Panel on Black Male Achievement

Wednesday, February 25 at 6 pm

While there are many chances that black boys will become ensnared in unjust systems, we don't always know what it takes to help them avoid these pitfalls and get ahead in life. This panel draws on the expertise of a diverse panel of black male educators and scholars to highlight roadblocks and paths to opportunity for black boys from the city to the suburbs. Panelists will include Alfred DeFreece, professor of Sociology at Roosevelt University of Chicago and author of the forthcoming book "New Black: Black Youth Views on Race and Racism after Obama;" Lumas Helaire, Associate Director of the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and co-founder of the Threads mentoring program; Thomas Parker, superintendent of the Ecorse School District; and R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, professor of Sociology and Black Studies at the City College of New York – CUNY, and author of "Inequality in the Promised Land." Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/1296-sos-strengthening-our-sons-detroit-a-panel-on-black-male-achievement

EXHIBITIONS

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. Free with museum admission. http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/37-and-still-we-rise

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 focuses on African American women in science, black aviators, black inventors, medical ethics, and key historical figures such as George Washington Carver. Free with museum admission. http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/635-inspiring-minds-african-americans-in-science-and-technology

Shadow Matter: The Rhythm of Structure – Afro Futurism to Afro Surrealism
Through August 30, 2015
This one-man show features works by New York sculptor and Inkster, Michigan-native M. Scott Johnson. Scott’s education as a sculptor began in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where he studied under master sculptor, national hero and elder statesman of Zimbabwe stone sculpture Nicholas Mukomberanwa (1940 - 2002). Scott’s work has been strongly influenced by African American techno music, Ndyuka and Saramaka graphic art forms, Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, and Makonde sculpture. Johnson’s work has been exhibited in galleries across the United States and internationally including the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harvard University, and The New York Botanical Gardens. Free with museum admission. http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/676-shadow-matter-the-rhythm-of-structure--afro-futurism-to-afro-surrealism

The Nataki Way: 35th Anniversary of the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit

Through April 19, 2015

The Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit (NTSD) joyously celebrates 35 years of service to its students, parents, employees, and community. Carmen and George N'Namdi founded NTSD as a private school in 1978 to honor the memory of their fourteen-month-old daughter, Nataki Talibah N'Namdi, who died in 1974. The school now enrolls over 430 students. After 35 years of hard work, the NTSD continues to uplift students from diverse backgrounds and help them identify the varying roles each of us must play to make the world a better place for everyone. Free with museum admission. http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/674-the-nataki-way-35th-anniversary-of-the-nataki-talibah-schoolhouse-of-detroit

Ingrid Saunders Jones: 31 Years of Distinguished Service... and Counting

Through March 1, 2015

This exhibit celebrates the amazing career and achievements of Detroit native Ingrid Saunders Jones. Ingrid retired in June 2013 as the Senior Vice President of Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Company and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation, after 31 years of distinguished service. This limited-engagement exhibit honors her life as she moves on to its next chapter - as the volunteer national chair of the National Council of Negro Women. Free with museum admission. http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/647-ingrid-saunders-jones-a-retrospective

Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts: Portraits of a Revolutionary Artist
Through March 1, 2015

Detroit native Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts is well known for his collages, in which one can find juxtapositions of photographs, African symbols, and writings that reveal strong messages about the love of family and community, strength of character, and the importance of honoring our ancestors on whose shoulders we stand. In 2008, Pitts experienced a massive stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak. He has demonstrated his strength by continuing to fight his way back to doing what the creator has demanded of him - creating art, and proving that he, and we, can accomplish anything we set our minds to do. Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitt: Portraits of a Revolutionary Artist is funded in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Free with museum admission. http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/669-raz-baaba-aaron-ibn-pori-pitts-portraits-of-a-revolutionary-artist

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

315 East Warren Avenue • Detroit, MI 48201 • (313) 494-5800

The Wright Museum™ | TheWright.org

Black History Month Hours

Monday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm | Sundays 1 – 5 pm

Admission

Adults (13+) $8 | Seniors (62+) & Youth (3 - 12) $5 | Members and children under 3 FREE

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