Donations are Appreciated. The AACHM is a non profit 501c3 organization.
AACHM@1528:Where Art Meets History
October 2023 Tours
Saturday, October 7 - 10:30am - 11:45am Neighborhood Walking Tour with Scott McFadden
Guests meet at Wheeler Park, 810 N. 4th Ave, Ann Arbor. The route will be a slow walk south to Catherine St and return to Wheeler Park. This tour includes sites significant to African American history and culture in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County. Cost $10. Get your ticket!
Sunday, October 8 - 2pm - 5pm. Underground Railroad Bus Tour with Deborah Meadows
Guests will board a Golden Limousine motor coach in the Meijer parking lot at 3825 Carpenter Rd, Ypsilanti (behind Huntington bank). This tour will stop and drive-by sites associated with local Underground Railroad history. Cost $30, or $25 for students/seniors 65+. Get your ticket!
30th Anniversary Sponsorships and Support The African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County (AACHM) celebrates 30 years of preserving and sharing the African American experience on Sunday, September 10, 2023, 5:00-8:00 p.m. at The Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor. We would be honored to have you join us. Proceeds support our educational and enrichment programs tours and expanding exhibit space. We are a nonprofit 501c3 organization. The adinkra symbol in our event logo, Owia A Repue means rising sun - a symbol of progress and energy. The sun rises every day bringing with it warmth, hope, and strength to face life anew.
Expressions of Untold Stories: Our Voice was an exhibit curated by Huron High School’s 10th grade African American Humanities Accelerated Class (AC), and their teachers, with support from the Young Curators grant sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This exhibit of artwork and audio interviews was a culmination of Huron High School’s 10th grade African American Humanities Accelerated Class (AC), studies of African American life. The Museum thanks all of the artists, mentors and teachers involved, the public enjoyed this exhibit . Click here to view the online exhibit of artwork and photos.
David R. Byrd Center OPEN HOUSE on Saturday, July 8 was a success. The David R. Byrd Center was alive from the inside out. A rainy day was forecast, but the afternoon remained dry until 3:50 PM. Over 150 people came out to see the possibilities at 3261 Lohr Road and the surrounding property. We heard inspiring messages from County leaders, officials and community members.
Thank you so much for supporting this important place. When our children's children will have a space, that holds their history, it can never be erased.
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and systems guiding self-emancipated African Americans to liberty. Two essential routes to Detroit and ultimate safety in Canada crossed in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. This summer discover the role Washtenaw County played and hear some powerful stories about places you pass by every day. Click your date of choice to register and for more information.
7th Annual Unity Walk! Saturday June 10, 2023 10:00 AM - 3:PM Brown Chapel AME Church, 1043 W. Michigan Ave. The Unity Walk was born out of a Bridging 23 restorative community circle and has been spearheaded by community members since 2017. It was built on the foundation of taking action and bringing public visibility and conversation about the inequities between the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor communities.The African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County joins the Association for Youth Empowerment (AYE), Brown Chapel AME Church as a partner this year. 2023 will also have a particular focus on criminal legal reform advocacy, initiatives, and programs throughout the state and Washtenaw County that also seek to decrease racial disparities and offer healing alternatives and options to youth, adults, and families who are effected by the criminal legal system. Participate in this 5 mile walk, 1 mile walk, or in fellowship at 1:00 PM that will include a powerful speaker program. There will be food from Good Eats Food Truck, children's activities, raffles, music by DJ Zu, photo booth, and more! We are doubling the impact and the fun! The event is free - unless you want some swag! Click here to register and for more information.
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 project was 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:
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.