Donations are Appreciated. The AACHM is a non profit 501c3 organization.

The AACHM annual online fundraiser Holding Space for African History helps preserve the legacy of African American history. Donate today

Screenshot 2022-08-20 at 00-30-48 “Hold Me Up”_edited.jpg

ONLINE EXHIBIT - “Hold Me Up” Narrative Histories of Black Community Building in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, 1920s-1970s. This project features five narrative histories of Black communal, institutional and political life in  Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti from the 1920s through the 1970s. Each account centers a particular topic: experiences of childhood, Black religious institutions, adult education and the importance of Black History, battles over racial inequality in housing, and Black Power institution building. The project builds upon and honors the storytellers and institutions that have long centered Black communities in the history of Washtenaw County (indeed, you can find a list of those important institutions and projects on the homepage). While students drew from the rich collections of the Bentley, they also relied significantly upon digitized materials from the Ypsilanti Historical Society, Ann Arbor District Library and the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County (AACHM).

Five undergraduate fellows (Krista Albetins, Isabella Buzynski, Paige Hodder, Miriam Saperstein and Bennett Walling) collaborated with Greg Parker (Public Engagement Manager), Eshe Sherley (Doctoral Candidate, History) and UM Assistant Professor Jennifer Dominique Jones, Ph.D to create a public history project that expands the topical scope of the Michigan in the World Program. Given the reverberations of COVID 19, a significant portion of the Bentley Historical Library’s holdings had to be digitized prior to the start of the program. Sarah McLusky and Cinda Nofziger generously helped to survey the collections, while Brian Williams shared his expertise about and access to African American Alumni files. The digitization team scanned newspaper articles, photographs, correspondence, organizational records and a very fragile scrapbook from the 1930s so that students could access the documents remotely. Their labor and generosity combined with the generous support of Terry McDonald, Director of the Bentley- was instrumental to the project’s success. 

Black History - James Baldwin - Pin Drop Speech

Black History Month is an annual recognition of the history, achievements, and influence of the Black diaspora.The theme for 2022 focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.

Enslaved or free, patriarchal or matriarchal, single-headed or dual-headed household, extended or nuclear, fictive kin or blood lineage, legal or common law. Pressures that may pull black families apart also often unite us.


Covid 19 Pandemic Stories - Telling Tales Out of School

The Student Advocacy Center of Michigan’s annual social justice art project elevates the recent experiences of their students. This 2021 projectwa s like none other, because this year is like none other. Students are struggling. They are hurting. Virtual school is temporary for most, but many Student Advocacy Center youth have been forced into virtual settings for many, many years. For this project, SAC students were given two questions to answer:

Telling Tales Out of School

The artist family Anna Oginsky (Heart Connected}, Sarah Richards (Ananda Wellness) and their mom, Kathleen Hodges turned these answers into art.



They re-purposed "found" computers and parts and covered them with the messages of reflection and hope from SAC students. This photo of the piece for the AACHM was taken in the dining room of the David R. Byrd Center on Lohr Road.


The historic farmhouse is more than 150 years old, built on land that was platted in 1825 and was restored by David and Letitia Byrd.


The tools of school were

a slate and chalk, so visually similar to the black and white tools our students use today.