The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

The world’s largest museum dedicated to African American history is located in Detroit

In 1965, the doors opened to the world’s largest museum dedicated to African American history located right in the city of Detroit, Michigan. The museum was initially named The International Afro-American Museum. It went through a few name changes before finally being named “The Charles H. Wright Museum” in 1998, in honor of the man who founded it.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History tells the story of struggles that African American people of the past dealt with.

The main feature of the museum is the “And Still We Rise” exhibit. It features more than 20 galleries with photos, art, paintings, and scenes set up with wax people. This exhibit begins by telling the story of people being forced out of their home in Africa to become slaves in America. It tells the tales of those who escaped by the Underground Railroad, and those who went on to build families, businesses, and successful lives.
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Another permanent exhibit of the museum is “Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology.” This focuses on African Americans in science, such as pilots, inventors, doctors, and important historical figures from the past and the present. This exhibit was featured on Channel 4’s most exciting exhibits feature, done by Andrew Humphrey.

Visitors to the exhibit use computers, a touch screen video wall, and hands on activities to explore the lives of the people presented.
From top left clockwise; George Washington Carver, Paula T Hammond, Mae Jemison, Tyrone Hayes. Photo from

“Detroit Performs!” is an ongoing exhibit. It tells the tales of Detroit singers, dancers, playwrights, musicians, and choreographers who gained fame for their talents. Singers such as Aretha Franklin, Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, and Derrick May are credited with creating entirely new genres of music – soul and techno.
"Detroit Performs!" Photo from

The museum showcases several temporary exhibits as well. “The Nataki Way: 35th Anniversary” or “The Natiki Talibah Schoolhouse of Detroit” celebrates the history of the NTSD, founded in 1978. This school serves as a way to inspire students to embrace their diverse backgrounds and unique roles in life. The exhibit is open until April 19.

Another, more recent, temporary exhibit is “Shadow Matter: The Rhythm Of Structure.” Scott Johnson, an artist from Michigan, created sculptures based on African futurism and surrealism. His sculptures have been featured in many galleries across America, including Harvard and the New York Botanical Gardens. The exhibit opened January 19 and will end April 30.

All exhibits are free with paid museum admission.

The museum presents many special events, such as weekly workouts and dance lessons. The complete schedule can be found on the website,

The museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit, is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $8, seniors are $5, children are $5, and children under three and members are free. A museum gift shop is open to purchase books, art, and merchandise from prominent black historical figures.
The museum gift shop. Photo from

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