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An American Success Story: The Wright's Weekly Update April 20 - 26

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Why the Arts Matter: The Wright's Weekly Update April 13 - 19

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President's Message, April 2015

Posted by Juanita Moore
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My legacy was my job. Everything I did was what I was supposed to do... I was committed to what I defined as "one of the most important tasks of our times," ensuring that generations, especially young African Americans, are made aware of and take pride in the history of their forbears and their remarkable struggle for freedom. An idea came to me that African Americans needed a museum to collect and preserve our history and culture. And, with the help of many minds and hands, that idea came to fruition. – Charles H. Wright, M.D.

As I read these words by our museum’s founder in the exhibition, I, Charles H. Wright: My Story, I was struck by the following thought: we cannot wait for greatness; we must make it so. Dr. Wright, through purpose, education, and service, marshaled the energies of many, and today we have this great museum that bears his name.

When studying history, it is easy to equate greatness with great deeds, of moments etched in the collective memory of humanity. Especially so in the lives of those who made the greatest sacrifice – such as Viola Liuzzo and Malcolm X, two mighty freedom fighters who lost their lives 50 years ago.

Does greatness require great deeds? Certainly not - greatness also lies in little deeds done purposefully, like daily lessons taught by dedicated teachers, or selfless prayers said by the faithful. Great deeds such as these are not tracked by history's lens, yet in aggregate, have changed the world countless times since time began.

When we line up to vote to determine our representation in the halls of government, we stand on the shoulders of those who fought for that right. Those who marched from Selma to Montgomery 50 years ago did so as ordinary folks who put on the mantle of greatness by virtue of their deeds.

While we live in an age of instant celebrity and omnipresent media, most of us will never be famous. Yet we can do great things – for our families, in our communities, and for the future. Through purpose, we can conquer fear; through education, we abolish ignorance; through service, we uplift one another.

We can look to history to inspire us, to fuel the passion behind purpose, but it is up to each of us to understand our purpose, and how we may best put it to work. Dr. Wright’s legacy should encourage us all to pursue our purposeful contribution, and greatness will surely follow.



Click here to download our April 2015 Member Newsletter

 

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Recognizing, remembering & rejoicing for Women’s History Month; From Black Women who Rock to Our Pride & Joy, The Wright Museum celebrates women during the month of March

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The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is recognizing Women’s History Month during the month of March with a calendar packed full of events. The month-long celebration launches this Saturday, March 7, at 7 pm with jessica Care moore’s 11th Annual Black Women Rock! Concert [sold out]. The rock music showcase features high-energy, fun-filled performances from moore, Nik West, Ideeyah, Stephanie McKay and more that the entire family is sure to enjoy. Attendees can participate in workshops, visit the pop-up BWR art exhibit, and mingle with the BWR performers during the artist meet & greet. Saturday’s evening of entertainment will be followed by Black Women Rock! Community Discussion on Sunday at 12:30 pm. The discussion will be led by a panel of BWR performers and is free and open to the public.

On March 13, for the second year, The Wright Museum will host #313DLove, an event with one sole purpose – to uplift Detroit! Speakers from community centered organizations, including United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Arise Detroit, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and more, will share stories, ideas, and action items on ways others can “be part of the change” which is taking place in our beloved city. The talks take place from 1 – 5 pm with a social media campaign launching at 3:13 pm. Tickets are $31.30 and can be purchased at http://www.313dlove.com/. Those who are unable to join us in person are encouraged to join us on the web with the hashtag #313DLove.

Women’s History Month will culminate with The Wright Museum’s 2nd Annual Women’s History Month Concert: Our Pride and Joy. Taking place on Friday, March 27 at 7 pm, six legendary women will be celebrated with a compelling and joyous performance of song, spoken word, poetry and dance. The honored include, Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Dorothy Height and Detroit’s own Judge Claudia Morcom. During the concert, a special Sojourner Truth statue will be publicly unveiled. Admission is free; all are welcome to attend.

During March, The Wright Museum will continue to host regular programmed events including Mahogany at the Museum (March 13), The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers (March 20), and Liberation Film Series (March 21).  As the snow melts and we enter spring, The Wright welcome families to bring in their youth to experience our extensive list of free children’s programming such as Saturday’s Family Activity Series (March 14, 21, 28), Interactive Storytime (March 8), and Links to Science (March 7 & 14).  

SPECIAL EVENTS

SOLD OUT: Black WOMEN Rock! Concert ($)
Saturday, March 7 at 7 pm
Experience the rock performance of the year at The Wright! Black WOMEN Rock! showcases the music and stories of Black women who build institutions around their craft, and empowering women who play guitar, cello, drums, sing, or write poetry, to do so on their own terms. 2015 represents the 11th year anniversary of the BWR Weekender. In addition to the concert, the weekend is filled with an assortment of other activities, including an art exhibition, workshop, panel discussion and meet-and-greet with the performers of BWR. 2015 performers include: Nik West, jessica Care moore, Ideeyah, Stephanie McKay, Denitia Odigie, Steffanie Christi'an, Monica Blaire, DJ Stacey "HOTWAXX" Hale, Kat Dyson, Sabrina Nelson, the Black Women Rock Orchestra and more! The Black WOMEN Rock! concert is SOLD OUT. For media access please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (313) 494-5866.

Black WOMEN Rock! Community Discussion
Sunday, March 8 at 12:30 pm
The community discussion portion of the Black WOMEN Rock! weekend is an all-ages forum for talking to and learning from the Black WOMEN Rock performers, including valuable insight and advice for artists and performers of all genres. Free.

#313DLove: What’s “Wright” About Detroit Discussion Event ($)
Saturday, March 13 from 1 – 8 pm
The vision of #313DLove is a Detroit whose self-worth is high, unemployment is low, and education system is second to none. If TEDx is all about "Ideas worth spreading" #313DLove is all about "actions worth emulating.” We've gathered a handful of top-shelf people who are busy making a huge impact on our community. They will share their stories, suggest ways others can "Be part of the change" and, most importantly, what drives them to stay here in the D. The talks are from 1 – 5 pm. We have built in plenty of time so we can get busy tweeting what we love about Detroit at 3:13 with the goal of breaking Twitter. Includes after-panel afterglow in the museum’s beautiful Ford Freedom Rotunda. Tickets are $31.30 and can be purchased at www.313dlove.com.

Artist's Studio Workshop featuring Ziwadi Majiisa ($)
Saturday, March 14 at 11 am
Local artist Ziwadi Majiisa will lead an art workshop for adults on Mixed Media Assemblage. Admission is $25 or $15 for museum members.

Black Marriage Day 2015 ($)
Saturday, March 21 from 11 am – 8 pm
Joining city halls, community centers, houses of worship and other institutions in 300 communities nationwide, The Wright Museum and Marriage Resource Center present Black Marriage Day 2015. First launched in Washington, D.C., this national initiative encourages African Americans to embrace an institution by highlighting the deep-rooted historical role marriage has played among African Americans, as well as the reality that there are still black men and women who, day in and day out, meet, fall in love, get married, and stay together. Black Marriage Day 2015 will be held for married couples, as well as those who are engaged, seriously dating or looking to get married, at The Wright Museum on Saturday, March 21, beginning at 11 am. Tickets are $50 per couple in advance, $55 the day of the event. For more information, contact Angela King at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Our Pride and Joy: Women’s History Month Tribute Concert
Friday, March 27 at 7:30 pm
In honor of Women’s History Month, six legendary women are celebrated in this riveting and spectacular performance of song, spoken word, poetry, and dance by Detroit’s leading performing artists. Women to be honored include Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, Dorothy Height, and Detroit’s own Judge Claudia Morcom. Additionally, the unveiling of a special Sojourner Truth statue will take place. Hosted by LaShaun Phoenix Kotaran. Free.

FAMILY

Family Activity Series
Every Saturday in March 14, 21, 28 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 March will be hip-hop dance (March 14), crafts (March 21), and discovering classical music with Rick Robinson (March 28)! Free.

Links to Science presented by the Renaissance Chapter of The Links, Incorporated
Saturdays, March 7 & 14 at 1:30 pm
Explore the wonders and wizards of science with 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. 

Ford Free Second Sunday
Sunday, March 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.

Don Barden Foundation Interactive Storytime
Sunday, March 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.

Crown-Making Workshop
Saturday, March 21 at 1 pm
This hands-on workshop offers attendants of all ages an opportunity to make their own crowns from templates of the designs used in Shani Peters’ University of Michigan exhibition. Free.

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

PERFORMANCE

Spelman College Jazz Ensemble Performance ($)
Thursday, March 12 at 7 pm
Spelman College Jazz Ensemble's unique combination of vocalists, wind instrumentalists, and rhythm section has thrilled and excited audiences across the country with their innovative and soulful sound. Organized in 1983 under the leadership of its founder/director, Joe Jennings, this talented, nationally-renowned, all-female jazz ensemble has toured throughout the United States, and has shared the stage with jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Consuela Lee, Nancy Wilson, Leroy Jenkins, Valerie Capers, the Straight Ahead Jazz Quartet, the Uptown Sting Quartet, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Regina Carter. $25 or $15 for museum members.

Mahogany @ The Museum #6 ($)
Friday, March 13 at 7 pm
The legacy of Café Mahogany lives on at The Wright Museum. Come be inspired, surrounded by good vibes and great energy, enjoy spoken word and musical artists, live painting, vendors, and much more. Powerful, political, romantic, humorous...real. A perfect night out for sophisticated young professionals. Hosted by Joel Fluent Greene. $15 online / $20 at the door.

The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers present "Pride & Prejudice" ($)
Friday, March 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 Nicole Pitts, Nicholaus Rainey, Hannah Wise and more. Musical Guest Amy Jackson with Dance Guests SambaSoul: Vanessa Almeida and Jamile Lulo. Local Artisans/Exhibitors and Cash Bar! Hosted by Satori Shakoor. For Info, Tickets & Video visit: www.secretstorytellers.org

Sing a New Song Theatrical Production
Sunday, March 22 at 6 pm
"Sing a New Song" is a theatrical production depicting the life of a civil rights minister who is challenged to begin addressing the violence in the black community. He refuses to do so until violence strikes his own home. Crew and cast are asking men to bring a young man to the show, and to come early to walk through the "And Still We Rise" exhibit prior to seeing the play. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Purchase tickets online at http://harambeeproductions.webs.com/ or at The Wright Museum information desk.

FILM

Freedom Riders Film Screening & Discussion
Sunday, March 15 at 6 pm
The “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” returns with a screening of "Freedom Riders," presented by The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode interstate buses throughout the segregated southern United States in 1961 and following years to challenge the non-enforcement of the United States Supreme Court decisions which ruled that segregated public buses were unconstitutional. The movie tells the terrifying and suspenseful story of a time when white and black volunteers riding a bus into the Deep South, risked being jailed, beaten or killed. Free.

180 Days: Hartsville Film Screening & Discussion
Thursday, March 19 at 6 pm
A recent Southern Education Foundation report has uncovered that, for the first time in 50 years, the majority of students attending public schools in the U.S. live in poverty. An inspiring new documentary, "180 Days: Hartsville," takes a fresh look at the nation’s poverty and education challenges from a rural South Carolina town triumphing in the face of extraordinary challenges. Co-directors Jacquie Jones and Garland McLaurin, the team behind the Peabody Award-winning documentary 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School which premiered in 2013, joined SCETV in Hartsville, South Carolina for more than a year. They filmed in two elementary schools struggling with new curriculum standards and maintaining funding, while meeting the needs of individual students. Yet Hartsville is fighting the odds—and winning—with an astonishing 92 percent graduation rate in their city. Free. 

Liberation Film Series presents The Spook Who Sat By the Door
Saturday, March 21 at 2 pm
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History presents a free screening of “The Spook Who Sat By the Door” followed by a community conversation with Dr. Melvin Peters, Associate Professor, Eastern Michigan University. "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" is a 1973 film based on the riveting 1969 novel of the same name by author, Sam Greenlee (1930 - 2014). It is both a powerful story of the late 1960s Black Liberation Movement in the United States, with a particular focus on Black militancy. Free. 

Chameleon Street Film Screening & Discussion
Saturday, March 21 at 3 pm
View this screening of Chameleon Street for the first time in Detroit after 20 years! This Sundance award-winning film will be followed with a panel discussion including the film director & star, Wendell B. Harris, and artist Shani Peters. Free.

The Great Detroit Film Screening and Discussion

Sunday, March 22 at 3 pm
The Great Detroit that takes a panoramic look at Detroit's history, scenery and people that emphasizes the positive aspects of the city. Following the screening will be a discussion by the film’s producer, Anthony Brogdon. Free.

Voices of the Civil War Episode 38
Wednesday, March 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!

30 Days To Lose It! Weekly Workouts ($)
Tuesdays at 7:30 pm
Ramp it up for March with a jump, hoop & roll workout with Velonda Thompson, PhD, Institute for Population Health! 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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 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.

LECTURES & MEETINGS

The Value of Service: Women as Leaders Abroad Panel Discussion
Wednesday, March 4 at 6 pm
The Value of Service: Women as Leaders Abroad is a joint effort between the Peace Corps – Midwest and The Wright Museum to celebrate Women’s History Month by recognizing the accomplishments and perseverance of women who uplift their communities despite the circumstances in which they are placed. The program also seeks to inspire the exploration of other cultures through a life changing, service-based experience. A panelist of local women who are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will speak about their perspective and how they balanced their own values with their communities, specifically around gender issues. The panel will highlight women who took on leadership positions in their communities or who made an impact on their service. Recommend audience: ages 12-years-old and above.

ASALH Detroit General Membership Meeting
Sunday, March 15 at 3 pm

ASALH History Lesson on the Underground Railroad by Evelyn Millstein
Sunday, March 15 at 4:30 pm
In keeping with the mission of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the ASALH Detroit Branch will host monthly history lectures. Please join us to hear from Mrs. Evelyn Millstein who will present on the Underground Railroad. Free.

African World Festival Community Advisory Meeting
Wednesday, March 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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

I, Charles H. Wright: My Story
Opening March 10; Through January 3, 2016
This special anniversary exhibition features the history of Charles H. Wright, M.D. (1918 – 2002), founder of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, in his own words. It surveys his early life in Dothan, Alabama, his college years, his activism, and the path that led to the founding of the museum. Free with museum admission.

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Music Legends Join Patti Austin for The Wright’s 50th Anniversary Celebration; “Oh, Freedom!” honors Black History Month with Grammy Award-winners & local talent

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Several noteworthy additions have been made to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’s 50th anniversary concert, "Oh, Freedom! A Musical Journey Through African American History," taking place Sunday, March 1 at 7 pm at the Detroit Opera House. Joining the program are Gospel Superfest lifetime achievement award-winner Vanessa Bell Armstrong; Official Jazz Master Laureate for the City of Detroit Marcus Belgrave; Grammy Award-winning Motown producer Sanchez Harley; keyboardist & musical director for Michael Jackson, Greg Phillinganes; and founder and director of The American Playwright Theatre, Barry Scott.

Presented by Ford Motor Company, “Oh, Freedom!” features Grammy Award-winning singer Patti Austin, a choir with 75 of Detroit’s finest voices, and orchestra in 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. Previous performances by Ms. Austin of “Oh, Freedom!” have been lauded in San Francisco, Nashville, and Memphis. The show will include a tribute to the original founders of The Wright Museum, a medley produced by and starring Phillinganes, who served as musical director for the best-selling album of all time – Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and feature performances by Grammy-nominated gospel artist Vanessa Bell Armstrong, jazz trumpet master Marcus Belgrave, and 30-time Detroit Music Award-winning blues artist Thornetta Davis. The 50th anniversary choir includes Grammy-nominated artist Joan Belgrave, as well as singers from over 20 metropolitan church choirs, the Detroit School of Arts and West Bloomfield High School.

Tickets for Oh Freedom! start at $25 and are available at the Detroit Opera House box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at (800) 745-3000. The Wright Museum is also giving away 2 pairs of tickets per day through a promotional text-to-win contest. To enter, entrants can text “Patti” to 72727 anytime from February 23 through February 27. Winners will be selected and notified daily.

For more information visit TheWright.org/ohfreedom. Oh Freedom! is made possible by support from Ford Motor Company, Macy’s, and AARP Michigan.

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The Wright Celebrates 50th Anniversary with “Oh, Freedom!” starring Patti Austin; Concert program honors Black History Month with Grammy Award-winning singer, community choir

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The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and Ford Motor Company present "Oh, Freedom! A Musical Journey Through African American History," Sunday, March 1 beginning at 7 pm at the Detroit Opera House. This special production featuring Grammy Award-winner Patti Austin, a choir with 75 of Detroit’s finest voices, and orchestra 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.

Of special note is the 75-voice choir comprised of voices from across metropolitan Detroit representing varying ages, races, and backgrounds. Included are singers representing dozens of choirs, churches, and schools, as well as noteworthy participants such as 30+ Detroit Music Award-winner and blues diva Thornetta Davis, and jazz/gospel/soul vocalist Joan Belgrave.

Tickets for Oh Freedom! A Musical Journey Through African American History starring Patti Austin start at $25 and are available at the Detroit Opera House box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at (800) 745-3000. For more information visit TheWright.org/ohfreedom. Oh Freedom! is made possible by support from Ford Motor Company and Macy’s.

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

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The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will present a wide range of exciting, insightful, and inspirational programming in celebration of Black History Month. The museum will be open every day of February to accommodate the expected record visitation by school groups and the general public as a result of the museum’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration. Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, and are free and open to the public. A complete listing of events is attached; of special note are the following:

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration at The Wright Museum; Museum’s most popular day of the year features annual commemorative breakfast, youth forum, and film premiere

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The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History presents its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration Monday, January 19, 2015. Featured events include the 15th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemorative Breakfast and the first Unknown Legacy of MLK Forum, hosted in partnership with Public Allies Metro Detroit. These highlights and a variety of other family friendly activities will be held at the museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, on its most popular day of the year.

The Commemorative Breakfast precedes the day’s events, beginning at 8 am. Hosted by the Women’s and Friends’ Committees of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History as an annual fundraiser for the museum, the breakfast will features guest speaker State Senator Coleman A. Young, II, The Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy Choir, The Institute of Music & Dance at Marygrove College, and a special presentation by University of Detroit Jesuit High School student and John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award nominee Saunders James Lee II. U.S. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. will serve as the Honorary Chairperson.

The Wright Museum opens to the public at 9 am and the day’s schedule includes arts & crafts, children’s activities and workshops, civil rights films on continued rotation, dance and musical performances, and the display of Martin Luther King artifacts including Table of Brotherhood, signed by luminaries such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Spike Lee, and an official maquette (scale model) of the Martin Luther King National Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Beginning at 10 am, Public Allies Metro Detroit explores the “Unknown Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” through a youth dialogue based on race, culture, and Detroit identity in leadership. Through presentations, workshops, and roundtable discussions, youth and young adults are invited to examine organizational policies, practices, attitudes, and initiatives to help them on their quest as NEW-NOW-NEXT community leaders, in addition to cultivating meaningful cross-cultural discussion on current social and civic issues. The forum is free but advance registration is encouraged at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unknown-legacy-of-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-tickets-15068124165.

Making its southeastern Michigan premiere, the 2014 documentary, "Al Helm (The Dream): Martin Luther King in Palestine" will be presented in partnership with the Arab American National Museum. Following the screening is a discussion focusing on community building, service, and ways to diffuse racial and ethnic tensions. Panelists include Will See, youth coordinator at East Michigan Environmental Action Council; Amanda Ghannam of Kairos USA's board of directors and former Students for Justice in Palestine organizer; Dr. Jeffery D. Robinson, principal at Paul Robeson/Malcolm X Academy and pastor at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, both in Detroit; and Zena Ozeir, activist/Public Ally. The film screening and discussion are free but advance registration is encouraged at http://bit.ly/mlkinpalestine.

Also taking place is the debut of the museum’s latest exhibit Shadow Matter: The Rhythm of Structure – Afro Futurism to Afro Surrealism, a one-man show featuring the works of New York sculptor and Inkster, Michigan-native M. Scott Johnson. Johnson studied under master artisans in Africa, and his work - which is influenced by African American techno music, Ndyuka and Saramaka graphic art forms, and Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi - has been exhibited in galleries across the United States and abroad including the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harvard University, and The New York Botanical Gardens.

Tickets for the Commemorative Breakfast are $35 and can be purchased online at www.TheWright.org, by calling (800) 838-3006, or at the museum during normal business hours. Discounted group tickets are available for $30 each when purchased in groups of 10, and all breakfast tickets include admission to MLK Day activities at the museum. Doors open at 7 am and breakfast will be served promptly at 8 am in the museum’s Ford Freedom Rotunda. Valet parking will be available.

MLK Day activities and exhibits are free with museum admission, which is $8 for adults (ages 13-61), $5 for seniors (62+) and youth ages (3-12), and free for museum members and children under 3. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day programming is made possible by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

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The 2014 Wright Gala: The Ball Promises to be the “FunRaising” Production of the Season with Art Deco Glam, Broadway Magic, and Studio 54 Tribute

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There are galas, and there is THE Gala. In only its fourth year, The Wright Gala has become one of Detroit’s most highly anticipated annual events. It is the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’s largest fundraiser, drawing hundreds of leading figures from corporations, culture, government, and the media. This year’s event, themed “The Ball,” takes place Saturday, October 11, 2014 beginning at 6:30 pm at the museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue.

The Ball LOGO

The theme of the 2014 Wright Gala is inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, A Theatre of Color: Costume Design for the Black Theatre by Myrna Colley Lee. Guests will experience the excitement and magic of Broadway, including celebrity guests, high fashion, eclectic dining, and “Studio 54” disco dancing into the night.

"The Wright Gala is a key fundraising initiative that helps support ongoing educational programming at the museum," said Juanita Moore, president & CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015. "This signature event helps raise significant funding to pursue our mission of opening minds and changing lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture.”

Highlights of the black-tie extravaganza will include:

  • Indulgent libations in a monumental tent that will take over the museum grounds until sunset
  • Red carpet arrival and reception in the museum’s transformed Ford Freedom Rotunda with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a peak at the playbills for the evening’s Broadway-style show
  • Decadent dinner cuisine served in a supper club atmosphere, recognition program emceed by WDIV’s Lauren Campbell-Sanders, and toast to a “surprise” Tony Award-winning guest
  • Silent auction of works by some of Detroit’s most prominent artists, exotic travel packages, and tickets to the most coveted sporting and entertainment events
  • Dessert and dance-till-you-drop Studio 54 disco party

TICKET INFORMATION:

Tickets for The Wright Gala start at $350 each and include open bar, dinner, Studio 54 party and complimentary valet parking. Tickets are available online at TheWrightGala.com, by phone at (800) 838-3006, or at the museum’s Information Desk.

“We are forever grateful to the members of the gala’s Host Committee, who donate their time, influence, and resources to help The Wright,” said Moore. “Our committee of dedicated volunteers, as well as our sponsors, represent a wide array of the Detroit community, and it’s great to see so much support for art, literacy and culture.”

The 2014 Wright Gala Host Committee:

Rumia Ambrose Burbank, Yvette Bing, Rosalind Brewer, Betty Brooks, Lauren Campbell-Sanders, Julianne Carroll, Janice Cosby-Bridges, Eva Cunningham, Brenda Davis, Retha Douglas, Eleanor Ford, Linda Forte, Mary Anne Gargaro, Linda Gillum Ph.D., Gretchen Gonzales Davidson, Barbara Hughes Smith Ph.D., Roberta Hughes Wright Ph.D., Denise Ilitch, Sharon James, Marion Jones, Florine Mark, Terri Moon, Vivian Pickard, Glenda Price Ph.D., Suzanne Shank, Barbara Whittaker, Jacqueline Wilson

The 2014 Wright Gala Sponsors:

  • General Motors Company, Presenting Gala Co-Sponsor
  • Ford Motor Company, Presenting Gala Co-Sponsor
  • General Motors Foundation, Arts and Education Partner
  • MGM Grand Detroit, VIP Reception Sponsor
  • Bank of America, Entertainment Sponsor
  • St. John Providence Health System, Entertainment Sponsor
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Theatre Arts Workshop Sponsor

RUN OF SHOW:

6:30 pm               VIP Reception

7:15 pm               Gala Cocktail Reception

8:00 pm               The Ball Seated Dinner & Show

10:00 pm             Studio 54 Party

A Theatre of Color: Costume Design for the Black Theatre by Myrna Colley-Lee is sponsored by General Motors Foundation. The exhibit is on display until January 4, 2015 and is free with museum admission

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New Music Video Features Acting Cameo by Acclaimed Opera Singer George Shirley

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In this recently released video by musical artist Aloe Blacc for his song, Hello World (The World is Ours), 2014 Wright Museum partner, acclaimed Metropolitan Opera Singer and Grammy Award-winning University of Michigan Professor George Shirley makes an acting cameo. This past March, The Wright Museum and Videmus, as part of the George Shirley Education and Outreach Initiative, presented a masterclass for students to work directly with Mr. Shirley.

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Liberation Film Series presents Lumumba at The Wright Museum; Free film screening & discussion includes current challenges in the Congo

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The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’s Liberation Film Series presents a free screening of Lumumba, the true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed Prime Minister of the independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba. The screening will be followed by a discussion on “Lumumba: The Man, His Ideas, and Today's Challenge in the Congo,” led by Dr. Rita Kiki (Nkiru) Edozie of Michigan State University and Maurice Carney of the Friends of the Congo organization. This free event takes place Saturday, April 12, 2014, starting at 2 pm at the museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit.

Using newly discovered historical evidence, Lumumba renders an emotional and tautly woven account of the mail clerk and beer salesman with a flair for oratory and an uncompromising belief in the capacity of his homeland to build a prosperous, independent, and truly African nation free of its former Belgium overlords. Lumumba emerges as the heroic sacrificial lamb dubiously portrayed by the international media and led to slaughter by commercial and political interests in Belgium, the United States, the international community, and Lumumba's own administration. It is a true story of political intrigue and murder where political entities, captains of commerce, and the military dovetail in their quest for economic and political hegemony.

The Berlin (Congo) Conference of 1884 - 1885 established agreements for Europeans to increase their colonialism of Africa to gain access to vast mineral resources, free labor, wealth and geostrategic locations. In 1878, King Léopold II of Belgium joined forces with Henry Morton Stanley, under the guise of philanthropic interests, to obtain the Congo Free State - what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo - as his personal property. Leopold criminally “owned and ruled” the Congo Free State for 23 years (1885 - 1908) and earned the equivalent of one billion dollars primarily from the extraction of rubber, ivory, and the exploitation of free African labor. King Léopold II’s reign resulted in the mutilation and murder of over 13 million Congolese, approximately half of the population of the region. The historian Walter Rodney’s 1972 magnum opus, entitled “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” further delineates this atrocity. For 52 years following King Léopold II, from 1908 to 1960, the Congolese people suffered under the foot of Belgian colonization.

Patrice Émery Lumumba (born Élias Okit'Asombo, July 2, 1925 – January 17, 1961) was a Congolese, pan African revolutionary leader who helped his country win its independence from Belgium in June 1960 and became the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo). On January 17, 1961, after being beaten and tortured, Patrice Lumumba was assassinated. This criminal act, sanctioned by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, was coordinated by CIA Director Allan Dulles (and attempted by his agents Victor Hedgman and Joseph Scheider) and Belgian, British (M16) and United Nation forces in collusion with United States-financed Congolese mercenaries Joseph-Desiré Mobutu, Joseph Kasavubu, Moïse Kapenda Tshombe, and their associates.

Directed by Raoul Peck, the story of Lumumba serves as one of many possible entry points for examining the history of Africa’s exploitation and how it continues to inform the continent’s present and future, and serves as a substantive comparison to the continuing fight for justice and rights of African Americans.

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

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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

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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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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 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:

WWW.THEHOUSEILIVEIN.ORG

www.Facebook.com/DrugWarMovie

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at The Wright Museum; Museum’s most popular day of the year features Commemorative Breakfast celebration, activities for the entire family

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The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History presents the 14th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemorative Breakfast Monday, January 20, 2014 beginning at 8 am. The breakfast precedes a full day of activities honoring Dr. King and his legacy at the museum,located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, on its most popular day of the year.

Hosted by the Women’s and Friends’ Committees of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the breakfast, an annual fundraiser for the museum, will feature a keynote by Reverend Dr. Carlyle Fielding Stewart III, Senior Pastor, Hope United Methodist Church; Charleston, South Carolina contemporary violinist Daniel Davis performing a MLK tribute entitled The Dream Today; China Cochran, Lyric Soprano; 2013 Miss Michigan American Sweetheart Isabella Vesprini; and the Institute of Music & Dance at Marygrove College. To mark the 40th anniversary of the city’s first African American mayor taking office, the posthumous Honorary Chair of the breakfast is Mayor Coleman A. Young, with his friend, the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, as Honorary Co-Chair.

The Wright Museum opens to the public at 9 am with a full day of activities, and will remain open until 7 pm. The day’s schedule includes arts & crafts, children’s activities and workshops; a musical performance by contemporary violinist Daniel Davis; screenings of the museum-produced documentary, A King Among Us; displays of Martin Luther King artifacts including a recently donated, signed copy of Dr. King’s 1964 book, Why We Can’t Wait, and two gifts of General Motors: the Table of Brotherhood, signed by luminaries such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Spike Lee, and an official maquette (scale model) of the Martin Luther King National Memorial in Washington, D.C.; and a morning book signing by the Honorable Damon J. Keith for Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith, written by Peter J. Hammer and Trevor W. Coleman with a foreword by Mitch Albom.

Additionally, the museum will open its latest traveling exhibition, Point of View: African American Art Masters from the Elliot and Kimberly Perry Collection, which features works by modern masters such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, William Edouard Scott, Elizabeth Catlett, James Van Der Zee, and many others. Point of View is a two-part exhibit drawn from the impressive African American and African Diaspora art collection of Elliot and Kimberly Perry, presented in partnership with the Flint Institute of Arts, which is displaying the collection’s contemporary works. Elliot Perry, a former professional basketball player, started to collect mid-to late 20th century African American art in 1996, and has said that his passion for art now rivals his love for basketball. This collaboration allows visitors to see both exhibitions with the purchase of one ticket.

Tickets for the Commemorative Breakfast are $35 and can be purchased online at www.TheWright.org, by calling (800) 838-3006, or at the museum during normal business hours. Discounted group tickets are available for $30 each when purchased in groups of 10, and all breakfast tickets include admission to MLK Day activities at the museum. Doors open at 7 am and breakfast will be served promptly at 8 am in the museum’s Ford Freedom Rotunda.  Valet parking will be available.

crusaderforjustice smMLK Day activities and exhibits are free with museum admission, which is $8 for adults (ages 13-61), $5 for seniors (62+) and youth ages (3-12), and free for museum members and children under 3. The first 100 visitors to the daylong celebration will receive a signed copy of Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith with the purchase of a museum membership or Commemorative Breakfast ticket, courtesy of the Ford Motor Company Fund.

About Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith

The Honorable Damon J. Keith was appointed to the federal bench in 1967 and has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 1977, where he has been an eloquent defender of civil and constitutional rights and a vigorous enforcer of civil rights law. In Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith, authors Peter J. Hammer and Trevor W. Coleman presents the first ever biography of native Detroiter Judge Keith, surveying his education, important influences, major cases, and professional and personal commitments. Along the way, the authors consult a host of Keith's notable friends and colleagues, including former White House deputy counsel John Dean, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and industrialist Edsel Ford II for this candid and comprehensive volume.

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Liberation Film Series presents The FBI’s War on Black America & The Assata Shakur Autobiography Documentary; Free double feature & discussion focus on historic and continuing persecution

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Long before the revelations of potentially unconstitutional activities by the NSA and other governmental agencies, as recently disclosed by high profile whistleblowers Mark Klein, Julian Assange, Michael Hastings, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden, there emerged in the 1950s COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program), a covert operation crafted by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and his Deputy Director, William Sullivan. COINTELPRO was initially aimed at U.S. communists and their organizations, but its focus later shifted to discredit, disrupt, and destroy the Black Nationalist Liberation Movement, and to neutralize its leaders. There was also evidence the CIA, State Department, Army Intelligence and other federal, state and local governmental agencies conspired to destroy global anti-colonial liberation movements, of which the U.S. Black Liberation Movement was an integral part.

The Liberation Film Series’ 2013 – 2014 season continues with a special double-feature screening of The FBI’s War on Black America and The Assata Shakur Autobiography Documentary, followed by a discussion and Q&A on historic and continuing attacks on the Black Liberation Movement and its activists with "Comrade Mother" Akua Njeri, widow of Chairman Fred Hampton, Sr., and her son, Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. This free event takes place Saturday, January 18, 2014, at 2 pm at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit.

At 4:30 am on December 4, 1969, fourteen Chicago policemen, aided by a floor plan provided by paid informant William O’Neal, raided the apartment of Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton. The policemen, who were allegedly there to serve a search warrant for illegal weapons, were armed with shotguns, handguns and a .45 caliber machine gun. Hampton, just twenty-one years old, and apparently drugged by the informant, was repeatedly shot in his bed. Black Panther Defense Captain Mark Clark was also assassinated in this criminal raid.

Illinois State Attorney General Edward V. Hanrahan and the media claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police, evidence later emerged that told a much different story: that the FBI, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, and the Chicago police conspired to assassinate Chairman Fred Hampton. Noam Chomsky described Hampton’s killing as “the gravest domestic crime of the Nixon administration” which “overshadow[ed] the entire Watergate affair by a substantial margin.”

On May 2, 1973, Black Panther activist Assata Olugbala Shakur, formerly Joanne Deborah Chesimard, was stopped by the New Jersey State Police, shot twice with her arms raised, and charged with the murder of a police officer. Assata spent six and a half years in prison before escaping from the maximum-security wing of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey in 1979 and moving, as a political refugee, to Cuba. 

Assata made the following statement,My name is Assata (‘she who struggles’) Olugbala (‘for the people’) Shakur (‘the thankful one’), and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the U.S. government's policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969, the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI's COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it ‘greatest threat to the internal security of the country’ and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.”

On May 2, 2013, Assata Shakur was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, becoming the first woman to do so. In addition, the state of New Jersey announced it was adding $1 million to the FBI’s $1 million reward for her capture.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’s Liberation Film Series: 2013 - 2014 Season, entitled Injustice & Resistance!, brings into focus the escalating injustice experienced by people of African descent in America today. The purpose is to leverage the collective knowledge of scholars, students, community activists and the grassroots community in a meaningful conversation that focuses on the examination of important films of our history.

The Liberation Film Series is supported by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Black 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, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and Dr. Errol Henderson (University of Pennsylvania), Media Education Foundation, National Council of Black Studies, The Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University, Wayne State University Press, Black White Look Optical, ASALH-Detroit, community activists, and individual contributors. Charles Ezra Ferrell, a consultant to The Wright Museum, is the LFS Founder and Program Director.

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.

About “Comrade Mother” Akua Njeri

“Comrade Mother” Akua Njeri (also known as Deborah Johnson) is a former member of the Illinois Chapter Black Panther Party. She is a survivor of the December 4, 1969 assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark. She is the widow of Chairman Fred and the mother of Chairman Fred Jr.

Njeri is the Chairperson of the December 4th Committee that fights to defend and maintain the legacy of the Black Panther Party. December 4th co-coordinates, with Prisoners of Conscience Committee (P.O.C.C.), the annual August 30th birthday celebration of Chairman Fred Hampton, and the life, work, and commemorative events around the annual December 4th International Revolutionary Day, and the anniversary of the "Massacre on Monroe" - the assassination of Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark.

Njeri is the co-author of the proposal to name 1 Chicago Block of 2300 W. Monroe "Chairman Fred Hampton Way," a campaign that exposed the dividing line between the interests of the state against the demands of the people. Njeri coordinates free clothing and fresh vegetable giveaways with P.O.C.C. and other survival programs. She also is on the board of the Advisory Committee for P.O.C.C.

About Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr.

Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. is a political activist and the son of Fred Hampton, Sr. His father was a Black Panther who was killed by the Chicago Police in 1969. Hampton's mother “Comrade Mother” Akua Njeri (Deborah Johnson), who was also shot, was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with him when Hampton Sr. was killed in her presence during the pre-dawn police raid. Hampton Sr. was 21 at the time of his death; Johnson was 19.

Hampton, Jr. has followed his father's legacy, becoming prominent in Black Nationalist politics. In 1990, he became the president of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, is currently the chairman of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee (P.O.C.C.), and actively tours the country as a speaker and community activist.

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The Wright Museum Hosts Sean Blackman’s In Transit Concert; Award-winning world music performer highlights popular art exhibit with Afro Brazilian performance and lecture

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Award-winning world music performer and Detroit native Sean Blackman will take concert goers on a musical journey from West Africa to the shores of Brazil and beyond on November 16, 2013, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Performing a dynamic mix of Brazilian classics and original compositions including traditional African songs, ballads, bossa nova, high-life Afro-sambas, dancing, and more, the In Transit ensemble will feature Pathe Jassi (Senegal); Mady Kouyate (Sengal); Detroit's own Wendell Harrison; Nanny Assis, renowned Afro Brazilian percussionist and vocalist from Bahia, Brazil; and Ibrahima "Thiokho" Diagne, master drummer from Senegal and percussionist for Grammy award-winning artist Angelique Kidjo. Attendees receive complimentary admission to the Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil exhibit open both before and after the performance. Tickets are $30 each or $20 each for museum members, and can be purchased at the museum, online at TheWright.org, or by phone at (800) 838-3006. Doors will open at 6 pm the evening of the performance, with the concert starting promptly at 7 pm.

Earlier in the day at 1 pm, the museum will host a lecture as a part of this Afro Brazilian celebration, with Sean Blackman demonstrating through different instruments and rhythms the migration of music around the globe. This family-friendly event includes a visual presentation mirroring the geographic journey, and Q&A period. The lecture 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.

About Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil
Organized by Con/Vida – Popular Arts of the Americas, in partnership with The Wright Museum, Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints includes nearly 200 works of art by more than 50 artists. The first major U.S. traveling exhibit on art from this region of Brazil, it tells the story of how African, European, and indigenous cultural traditions have interacted over a period of more than 500 years in the largest country in South America. The exhibit remains on display until January 5, 2014, after which it will 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 has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Michigan Humanities Council, with additional support from Wayne State University, TechTown, and the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

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ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss Star to Kick Off Season 4 of 30 Days To Lose It!

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Oakwood nurse Trina Miller, whose year-long quest to transform her life was featured this summer on the hit ABC television show, Extreme Weight Loss, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming season kick-off of the women’s health and fitness program 30 Days To Lose It!, taking place Tuesday, September 3 at 6 pm at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit.

Miller, a 47-year-old wife and mother of three, will share her battles and ultimate success in losing 145 pounds before a national television audience. Miller was selected from thousands of applicants around the country to be a part of Season 3 of Extreme Weight Loss after an open casting call in Detroit in February 2012. Nearly 300 pounds at the time, she found out shortly after that six fellow Oakwood Healthcare nurses, also struggling with their weight, would join her to form “Team Trina.” With lots of exercise, nutritional improvements, self-motivation and team support, the women collectively lost more than 500 pounds.

30 Days To Lose It! launched at The Wright Museum in March 2010 as a one-month initiative for Women’s History Month but quickly expanded into a year-long campaign. The weekly workouts that are at the program’s core, held every Tuesday at the museum from September through June, are free for museum members and $5 for non-members per session. Non-members who attend 8 consecutive sessions receive a complimentary museum membership, making their next 12 months free. Sponsors of 30 Days To Lose It! include St. John Providence Health System and Beaumont.

In addition to Miller and others from “Team Trina,” the Season 4 kickoff event on September 3rd will also feature healthy refreshments courtesy of Beans & Cornbread restaurant in Southfield, free health screenings by the Henry Ford Health System, and prizes from Weight Watchers and Detroit’s new Whole Foods Market to those who bring the most guests to work out. Plus, Carla Triplett, a former contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, will make a special appearance. The evening will conclude with a one-hour workout conducted by former Miss USA, Carole Gist Stramler, so attendees are encouraged to bring bottled water and an exercise mat, and come dressed for exercising.

Before beginning any exercise program, an individual should first consult with a physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 30 Days To Lose It! attendees should enter the museum through its rear entrance off of Farnsworth. Parking is free on Brush Street, and available in the Cultural Center parking lot behind the museum for $5 before 4 pm and $3 afterwards. Metered parking on Warren and Farnsworth is enforced until 10 pm Monday through Saturday. For more information, please email 30 Days To Lose It! program coordinator Angela King at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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. For more information visit www.TheWright.org.

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15th Annual Ford Freedom Award Honors “Quiet Heroes”

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To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Ford Freedom Award program, Ford Motor Company, in partnership with the Charles H. Wright Museum, will honor Congressman John Lewis, and civil rights activists Johnnie R. Carr and Viola Liuzzo. The Ford Freedom Award program will take place on Friday, May 10, at 6 p.m. at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. This year’s theme - Quiet Heroes - salutes the honorees for their humility, commitment and contribution to the African-American community.

As part of the Ford Freedom Award educational outreach, Congressman Lewis will address nearly 2,000 elementary and middle-school students from around the state. The 2013 Ford Freedom Award Scholarship finalists also will be presented during the program. The evening reception and Award program will include a special performance by Grammy Award-nominated singer and songwriter Eric Benét.

“Today we honor African Americans who have changed our world as Quiet Heroes without any intention of recognition,” said Ziad Ojakli, group vice president, Government and Community Relations, Ford Motor Company. “Their lasting legacy challenges us all to do more to make a difference in our everyday lives.”

The Ford Freedom Award program recognizes two recipients each year. The Ford Freedom Honoree Award is presented posthumously to a distinguished African American who has dedicated his or her life to improving the African American community and the world at large through their chosen field, such as arts, humanities, religion, business, politics, sports, science and entertainment. The Ford Freedom Award Scholar is an African American who has excelled on a national or international level in the same field as the Ford Freedom Award Honoree. The Scholar serves as a living legacy, carrying forth the ideals of the Honoree and furthering those achievements for a new generation.

The 2013 Ford Freedom Award Honoree is civil rights activist Johnnie R. Carr, who joined childhood friend Rosa Parks in organizing the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott.  In 1967 Carr succeeded Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, a post she held until 2008 at her death at age 97.  As the Association's president, Carr helped lead several initiatives to improve race relations and conditions for Blacks. She was involved in a lawsuit to desegregate Montgomery schools, with her son, Arlam, the named plaintiff.

This year’s Ford Freedom Award Scholar is Congressman John Lewis, who has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "The Beloved Community" in America. Recently an Alabama police chief apologized to Congressman Lewis for failing to protect the Freedom Riders during a trip to Montgomery, Ala. in 1961. Lewis and fellow civil rights activists were beaten by a mob after arriving at a Montgomery bus station.

Ford Freedom Humanitarian Award also will be presented posthumously to Michigander Viola Liuzzo, who was killed by the Klu Klux Klan in 1965 for helping Blacks to register to vote.

"In an age when the desire for notoriety seems universal, the Wright Museum is proud to acknowledge the quiet courage and determination of this year's honorees," says Juanita Moore, the museum's president & CEO. "In their own astonishing and unheralded ways, they have each committed, or given, their lives for the cause of equality - which is all the more reason for their recognition."

As part of the celebration, Ford will honor 50 local Quiet Heroes who were nominated by members of the community. Tickets for the Ford Freedom Awards are $40 per person or $35 for Wright Museum members.  A special “VIP Meet and Greet Experience Package” for $75 includes an afterglow and photo opportunity with the honorees and Eric Benét.

The Ford Freedom Award program is made possible by a grant from Ford Motor Company.  For additional event and ticket information, call the Max M. Fisher Box Office at 313-576-5111 or visit www.fordfreedomaward.com

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com

About the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 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. 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 www.TheWright.org.

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March 2013 Events @ The Wright Museum: Women's History Month

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SPECIAL EVENTS

Harriet’s Return: The Play ($)
Saturday 3/9 at 7:30 pm
“Harriet’s Return” is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed theatrical production that chronicles the private and public life of famed Underground Railroad conductor, spiritual icon, and revolutionary Harriet Tubman, performed on the 100th anniversary of her death. Through a deeply personal and high energy approach, producer and actress Karen Jones Meadows chronicles Tubman from childhood to afterlife, a nine decade journey that still influences the consciousness of people around the world. Portrayals of more than 30 colorful characters take the audience from contemporary America into the depths of Ms. Tubman’s soul, the psyche of a nation, and a call to action. Tickets are $20 general admission / $10 for museum members. Purchase by phone at (800) 838-3006 or online at www.TheWright.org. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/652-harriets-return-the-play

Women in the NAACP: A Historic Dialogue
Sunday 3/10 at 4 pm
Discover the contributions women have made to the struggle for civil rights, featuring a talk by Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, the first and only female Executive Director of the Detroit Branch NAACP. Other panelists include Yvonne White, President of the Michigan State Conference NAACP; Monica Anthony, Chair of the Detroit Branch Women in the NAACP (W.I.N.) Committee; and Kamilia Landrum, Chair of the Detroit Branch Young Adult Committee and Member of the National NAACP Board of Directors. This event is produced in tandem with the exhibition, A Very Present Force: Celebrating a Century of the Detroit Branch NAACP, on display now through March 24, 2013. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/657-women-in-the-naacp-a-historic-dialogue

Spelman College Glee Club Concert: A Choice to Change the World
Sunday 3/10 at 6 pm
Let your spirit be lifted at this very special concert by the Glee Club of the historically-black, all-women's Spelman College as they perform musical selections to help "Change the World!" This event is free and open to the public. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/658-spelman-college-glee-club-concert-a-choice-to-change-the-world

Black Marriage Day ($)
Saturday 3/16 from 11 am - 8 pm
Joining city halls, community centers, houses of worship and other institutions in 300 communities nationwide, The Wright Museum and Marriage Resource Center are joining forces to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Black Marriage Day. This national initiative encourages African Americans to embrace an institution that has long been on the decline by highlighting the deep-rooted historical role marriage has played among African Americans. Black Marriage Day is open to married couples, as well as those who are engaged, seriously dating or looking to get married. Tickets are $50 per couple in advance, $55 the day of the event and can be purchased by phone at (800)-838-3006 or online at www.TheWright.org.
http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/634-black-marriage-day-2013

Black Women Rock: The Diaspora ($)
Concert: Saturday 3/16 at 7 pm
Artist Discussion: Sunday 3/17 at 1:30 pm
The Wright Museum presents jessica Care moore's Black Women Rock: The Diaspora!, a live music concert and artist talk featuring Ursula Rucker, Dionne Farris, Canadian rocker Saidah Baba Talibah (http://youtu.be/oNcxCrOgOM4, http://sbtmusic.com/), the Appalachian Goddess Martha Redbone (http://www.martharedbone.com), Steffanie Christi'an, the Black Women Rock Orchestra under the direction of Norma Jean Bell, sounds by DJ Stacey Hotwaxx Hale, live art by Sabrina Nelson and the BWR STARtists, and more! General Admission tickets are $25 and include donation for Sunday's "They Say I'm Different" artist talk with a book signing by Laina Dawes, author of "What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal." For THREE STRAIGHT YEARS the concerts have been sell-outs; order tickets today by phone at (800)-838-3006 or online at www.TheWright.org. Due to the powerful voices and mature themes of this performance, parental guidance is recommended; some content may not be suitable for young children. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/638-black-women-rock-the-diaspora-concert

Tea Time: A Holistic Approach to Mothering
Saturday 3/30 at 1 pm
Calling all mothers! Join us for yoga demonstrations, breast-feeding empowerment, career building strategies, and presentations by local organizations over an assortment of tea. This event is not to be missed! Children are welcome. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/663-tea-time-a-holistic-approach-to-mothering

FAMILY

Charter One Free Family Second Sunday
Sunday 3/10 from 1 - 5 pm
Bring the whole family to Rejoice, Relive & Reconnect at The Wright Museum with free admission every second Sunday of the month courtesy of Charter One Bank! For Women's History Month, enjoy the Don Barden Foundation Interactive Storytime at 2 pm, Women in the NAACP: A Historic Dialogue at 4 pm, and a very special concert at 6 pm by the Spelman College Glee Club! Free Family Second Sundays are supported by the Charter One Foundation. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/578-charter-one-free-family-second-sunday

Don Barden Foundation Interactive Storytime
Sunday 3/10 at 2 pm
Where music, movement, and literacy collide, this interactive story performance will put your kids in the story! Made possible by support from the Don Barden Foundation. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/653-don-barden-foundation-interactive-storytime

Meet the Scientist Saturday
Saturday 3/16 at 11 am
Discover and explore science with activities led by scientists and technologists from the new Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology exhibit!  Free with museum admission. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/611-meet-the-scientist-saturday

FILM

Community Cinema Presents Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines Screening & Discussion
Thursday 3/7 at 6 pm
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation. Go behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and feminist figures such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer a counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre. Free.
http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/597-community-cinema-presents-qwonder-womenq-film-screening-a-discussion

Liberation Film Series Presents Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man Screening & Discussion
Saturday 3/16 from 2 - 6 pm
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Liberation Film Series presents a free screening of "Thomas Sankara - The Upright Man," followed by the discussion, "African Liberation Leadership in an Era of Neoliberalism," with Dr. Rita Kiki (Nkiru) Edozie, Director of African American and African Studies, Michigan State University, and Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor of the Pan-African News Wire. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/513-liberation-film-series-presents-qthomas-sankara-the-upright-manq-film-screening-a-discussion

HEALTH & WELLNESS

30 Days To Lose It! Weekly Workouts ($)
Tuesdays at 7:30 pm [NOTE: no class on 3/19]
Ramp it up this Women's History Month with a weekly jazzercise workout led by Sondra Jackson of Spirit of the Moment! Free for Museum 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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  
http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/618-30-days-to-lose-it-weekly-workout

Hustle for History Weekly Dance Lessons ($)
Sundays at 5 pm [NOTE: no class on 3/10 or 3/31]
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/592-hustle-for-history-weekly-dance-lessons

LECTURES

The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires Lecture & Book Signing
Thursday 3/14 at 6 pm
Author Dennis Kimbro discusses the keys to building wealth and will be signing copies of his latest book, "The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires." Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/659-wealth-choice-success-secrets-of-black-millionaires-lecture-a-book-signing

Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Monthly Meeting
Sunday 3/10 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.  If you are interested in learning more about ASALH Detroit please contact Ms. Kathie House, Coordinator for the organizing ASALH Detroit Branch at (313) 549-0335 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Mr. Tyrone Davenport, Chief Operating Officer at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, at (313) 494-5884 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Free.  http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/613-association-for-the-study-of-african-american-life-a-history-asalh-monthly-meeting

Shirley Woodson Explores Painting Traditions in Detroit: Influences and Interpretation
Tuesday 3/26 at 6 pm
Famed artist, art historian and educator Shirley Woodson addresses the importance of painting traditions in Detroit from the late fifties to present. Woodson's works are in public and private collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Boston, MA; Florida A&M University; Wayne State University; United American Health Care, Detroit, MI; Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA; and the Brandywine Printmaking Workshop in Philadelphia. Free. http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/661-shirley-woodson-explores-painting-traditions-in-detroit-influences-and-interpretation

Women's History Month Panel Discussion
Thursday 3/28 at 6 pm
To mark Women’s History Month, fascinating role-models Kathleen Talbert-Hill, Jandava Cattron-Colscott, and Dr. Cledie Taylor reflect on gender and their personal histories. Free.
http://thewright.org/upcoming-events/details/662-womens-history-month-panel-discussion

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
New Permanent Exhibition
This high-tech exhibit highlights trailblazers, contemporaries and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). African Americans have contributed to the scientific and engineering output of the United States since the 17th century, and this history is brought to life through interactive computer kiosks, a touchscreen video wall, and hands-on activities and play areas. Four disciplines of scientific advancement are explored: Physical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, and Technology & Engineering. Within these, 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

Visions of Our 44th President
Through August 4, 2013
This collective conceptual art exhibit was created to honor and celebrate the significance of the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama. Forty-four busts were created from a model that served as a blank canvas, giving each of forty-four contemporary artists from across the country - including Tyree Guyton, Gale Fulton Ross, Faith Ringgold, and Kadir Nelson - free reign to creatively interpret this milestone in American history. Visions of Our 44th President will be The Wright Museum’s first national traveling exhibition. Guest curated by Ashley Whitfield. Free with museum admission.
http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/623-visions-of-our-44th-president

Moving to His Own Beat Fela: The Man, The Movement, The Music
Through March 17, 2013
Created in partnership with Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Fela celebrates the life and music of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, a dynamic figure who transcended the boundaries of political expectation and culturally coerced standards of morality. Fela's undying passion for African peoples, understanding of the power of art and politics, and unyielding struggle against the colonial forces in Nigeria during the 1950s and 1960s, solidified his legacy as a shimmering agent of change against the status quo. Always pushing the envelope, Fela infused traditional African highlife music with classical jazz and funk, which evolved into a unique sound that he called, “Afrobeat.” The powerful music and social commentary found throughout his vast catalogue of recordings is indicative of his desire to help end oppression among African peoples everywhere. Free with museum admission.  http://www.thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/577-moving-to-his-own-beat-fela-the-man-the-movement-the-music

The Chris Webber Collection: Exceptional People During Extraordinary Times, 1755 - Present
Through March 31, 2013
Chris Webber, Detroit native, National Basketball Association All-Star player (retired) and NBA announcer, collects rare artifacts that illuminate the lives and legacies of African American greats such as Phillis Wheatley, the first African American author; Rosa Parks, mother of the modern civil rights movement; civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others.  Viewers get a glimpse of their heritage and learn about a different facet of Chris Webber, basketball player, philanthropist, and collector of African American history. Free with museum admission. http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/125-the-chris-webber-collection-exceptional-people-during-extraordinary-times-1755-present

A Very Present Force: Celebrating a Century of the Detroit Branch NAACP
Through March 24, 2013  
Since its formation in 1912 - only three years after the founding of the national association - the Detroit Branch NAACP has been on the frontlines of civil rights activism and advocacy, both locally and throughout the nation. Organized into three sections, A Very Present Force explores the Detroit Branch NAACP’s rich local history while situating it within the broader national and international struggle for civil rights. Free with museum admission.
http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/633-a-very-present-force-celebrating-a-century-of-the-detroit-branch-naacp

Pathways to Freedom in the Americas: Shared experiences between Michigan & Mexico
Through March 31, 2013
Inspired by the meeting of two women who became fast friends - Patricia Ann Talley, an African American from the United States of America, and Candelaria Donají Méndez Tello, an Afro-Mexican from Mexico (the United Mexican States), this exhibit presents the symbiotic relationship that has existed between Americans and Mexicans but has seldom been told.  Divided into three sections, the exhibition uses video, maps, photographs, art, and music to depict a different aspect of slavery in the Americas, the story of fugitives that escaped slavery in the United States on the Underground Railroad south to Mexico, African heritage as it continues to permeate Mexican culture - especially in the Costa Chica Region of Guerrero, the migration of Mexicans to Michigan and the culture as it has manifested in Southwest Detroit. Free with museum admission.
http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/634-pathways-to-freedom-in-the-americas-shared-experiences-between-michigan-and-mexico

Size Matters: Large-Scale Paintings from the Collections of the Charles H. Wright Museum
Through March 31, 2013
Size Matters presents fifteen contemporary large-scale paintings by twelve artists from diverse genres. The title is a double entendre that suggests two meanings: the significance of size and the problems associated with it. Featuring works by Jerome Wright, Annie Lee, Carl Owens, and Dwight Smith. Free with museum admission.
http://thewright.org/explore/exhibitions/638-size-matters-large-scale-paintings-from-the-collections-of-the-charles-h-wright-museum

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 East Warren Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 494-5800
The Wright Museum™ | TheWright.org

Hours
Tuesday – 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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