Hours

Wednesday & Thursday:

9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Friday & Saturday:

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday:

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Driving Directions
 

Annual Events and Programs

Each year, the Museum hosts programs to educate the community about African American history and to celebrate the contributions of African American culture. Our programs are designed for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. We provide captivating exhibitions, outreach programs, seminars, films, workshops, concerts, storytelling and theatrical performances.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Third Monday in January

The life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is commemorated with performances, movies, lectures and workshops that explore the history of grassroots activism. A highlight of the celebration is the annual Community Breakfast.

Black History Month Top

The entire month of February

The Museum is committed to chronicle the experiences of African Americans year-round. In recognition of the broader community’s increased awareness of and interest in the compelling stories and significant achievements of African Americans, the museum expands programming to address larger audiences. Visitors relive the African American pursuit of emancipation through exhibition tours, workshops, performances, lectures, films, storytelling and thematic “make and take” art activities. Outreach programs are offered to educate, entertain and facilitate Black History Month observances among schools, community organizations, businesses, other institutions and groups.

Ford Freedom Award Top

February

Each year, the Ford Freedom Award is bestowed, posthumously, upon individuals who have made a significant contribution in their chosen field (the arts, humanities, religion, business, politics, science, medicine and entertainment) and also dedicated their lives to improving the African American community and the world at large. The Ford Freedom Scholar Award is given to a living individual who has excelled in the field of the Ford Freedom Award recipient. The major components of the program are:

Ford Freedom Award Installation Top

The community, its leaders and the media gather in the Ford Freedom Rotunda to officially install the bronze plaque in the Ring of Genealogy as a permanent tribute to the Award recipient’s accomplishments.

Ford Freedom Award Dinner Top

Patrons and guests alike celebrate the legacy and contributions of the Ford Freedom Award and Scholar Award recipients. This is a fundraising event and generally the only event with a cost.

Ford Freedom Scholar’s Lecture Top

The Scholar’s Lecture is an opportunity for school children throughout the region to hear the Scholar Award recipient share insights and experiences. With a capacity for over 3,000 students, tickets, transportation and lunches are provided free of charge.

Ford Freedom Student Educational Materials and Essay Contest Top

The Detroit Newspapers in Education (DNIE) produces free educational materials to fourth through eighth grade classrooms across Michigan and Toledo, Ohio.

Ford Freedom Television Special WXYZ TV Channel 7, the Detroit ABC television network affiliate, produces the Ford Freedom Award half-hour primetime program that airs twice during February. This Emmy Award winning program includes biographies, historical footage and interviews with the current Scholar Award recipient and others inspired by the lives of both award recipients.

Malcolm X Day Top

May 19th

The philosophy, life and legacy of Malcolm X are examined through performances, films, lectures workshops and art related activities based on his speeches, grassroots activism and writings.

Black Music Month Top

Month of June

Black Music Month commemorates the rich history of African and African American influences in music. Each Friday evening in June, a different genre of music is showcased featuring local, national and international performers. The historical relevance of each music style is also explored through educational programs including discussions, lectures, workshops and films.

Juneteenth Top

June

In 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free. The announcement led to immediate jubilation. In celebration many families gathered each year to share prayer, special activities and an abundance of food. Most often, they used the occasion to reflect and recount on the events of the past. Join us for a free day full of music, educational workshops, games, and fun for the entire family as we host our family outing commemorating the oldest known celebration for the end of slavery, Juneteenth.

Summer Teachers’ Institute Top

July

The Institute is an intensive, five-day seminar for educators. The Institute's goal is to assist educators in integrating African American history into their classrooms. Packed with valuable information and innovative teaching strategies, it is designed to assist educators in meeting state and national curriculum standards. Using a multi-discipline approach, the Institute explores and examines the African American experience through visual and performance art, music, dance, archaeology, history, science, literature and civics.

African World Festival Top

Third Weekend in August

The African World Festival (AWF) is our largest and most exciting educational outreach program of the year. This program celebrates the richness, diversity and worldwide influence of African culture through performances, cuisine and exhibitions. Held the third weekend of August in downtown Detroit’s Hart Plaza, it has become one of the dynamic family-oriented festivals in the metropolitan area. With over 23 years of family entertainment, foods, arts and crafts, it just keeps getting better!

Noel Night Top

First Saturday in December

This program is a collective community expression of the universal celebration of Christmas by the institutions within the Cultural Center. Its goal is to foster feelings of good will and to spread joy throughout the community. Museum visitors of all ages enjoy poetry, storytelling and seasonally themed performances by choirs, a ballet company and instrumental ensemble. Museum guests also have the opportunity to participate in workshops including holiday ornament and candle making, in addition to home decorating and entertainment hints.

Kwanzaa Top

December 26th - January 1

The seven-day celebration is based on the seven principles of: Umoja (Unity), Kujichgulia (Self- determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). Kwanzaa promotes the recognition and acceptance of these seven principles. It is also a time for family and friends to reunite and for African Americans to pay tribute to their rich cultural heritage. Educational programs, performances and activities are presented during the week of Kwanzaa to help strengthen family and community life.

Contemporary Artist Exhibition Program Top

This exciting program, now in its sixth year, provides an opportunity to feature solo and group exhibitions for artists of African descent from the Metropolitan Detroit area. This quarterly series of changing exhibitions, introduces our museum audience to innovative artists who are creating original works in a variety of imaginative media that explores a range of subject matter including themes of spirituality and social consciousness.

The lecture series presented in conjunction with the program allows artists the opportunity to further elaborate and share conceptual ideas and philosophies surrounding their work. These lectures heighten the museum experience by allowing a more personal and informative interaction between the visitor, the artists and the artwork.

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