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The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

By: Jessica Bahny
Activities Assistant, NeuroCare Center

Once a month, the Activities Team likes to do a larger outing with two or three clients. In honor of African American History Month, in February we decided to pay a visit to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

We took our clients Gaylor F. and Bradly R. to the museum, what a beautiful place! The building is gorgeous, and very well maintained. The staff is extremely polite, respectful, and very knowledgeable. Guides walk around to take you through the life-like exhibits and answer any questions. We only had time to visit one wing, so we chose the “We Shall Rise” historical portion. I was completely amazed! The amount of work that goes into an exhibit like this one is nothing short of astronomical. This exhibit is absolutely amazing. There were dioramas featuring hundreds of people, so lifelike that you expect them to start talking to you.

We begin in ancient Africa, visiting the King, and watching the happenings at a marketplace. We learned about the crops, the jewelry, and the baskets that were sold by merchants. We then made our way onto a ship designed for carrying captives to slavery in America. We walked through the barracks, where hundreds of people were stacked one on top of the other, awaiting their fate in America. Our tour guide told us that most of the people who were being taken captive didn’t even speak the same language. I couldn’t even imagine- being ripped from my family and stuffed in close quarters with people that I couldn’t even have a conversation with. Even though this is a part of history that I am familiar with, I still felt I experienced it in a new light.

We were able to hear “Frederick Douglass” give his famous speech, and watch “Harriet Tubman” lead people to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Did you know that Harriet Tubman shot passengers who didn’t listen to her instructions in order to protect the others? She meant business! Our guide even told us that her great-great grandmother helped Ms. Tubman usher people to Canada! How cool is that?

Later, we walked down a mock Detroit street and listened as the rousing tunes of Motown played from a recreated record store. We all had a great time- the outing received rave reviews from all of us! In fact, I think I’m going back on my own time. I highly recommend you do the same! Go check it out, you’ll have a great cultural experience, and who knows? You just might learn something new! Stay tuned for more updates…..I’ll be in touch soon!