Little Known Black History Fact: Charles Wright African American Museum

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    The Charles H. Wright Museum is the world’s largest African-American museum. Located in Detroit, the museum features annual festivals, interactive exhibits and films that draw hundreds of thousands of people.

    Dr. Charles H. Wright, an African-American obstetrician, started the International Afro-American Museum in 1965. The traveling exhibits found a home in 1978 with the help of the city, students and friends. In 1985, the ‘IAM’ museum was upgraded to a $3.5 million-dollar facility.

    But it wasn’t long before the exhibits outgrew the building and in 1992, a 125,000 square foot museum was built on East Warren Avenue. The latest version of the museum has more than 30,000 plus artifacts from the African and African-American diaspora. Some of its impressive exhibits include the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, the Coleman A. Young Collection and the Sheffield Collection.

    There is also a comprehensive, 22,000 square foot, interactive exhibit on African American culture.

    Other features of the Charles H. Wright Museum:

    • The Ford Freedom Rotunda and its 100 x 65 foot high glass dome; this architectural wonder is two feet wider than the State Capitol dome.

    • Ring of Genealogy, a 37-foot terrazzo tile creation by artist Hubert Massey surrounded by bronze nameplates of prominent African Americans in history.

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