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

The Spoken Arts

February 4, 2023

Celebrate Black History Month! The public is invited to these events
The Spoken Arts @ The Freighthouse in Ypsilanti

Saturday, February 4, 2023 6-8 pm  The mic opens at 6:00 at The Freighthouse, 100 Market Place, Ypsilanti, MI 48198. Donation  $5/person at the door or online at

Second Baptist Church of Ypsilanti and The African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County invite the community to hear from gifted young artists who use words to express thoughts and understandings from their unique perspective. Artists and guests can click here to register. For more information call/text Karen at 313-575-3199 or Deborah at 734-819-8182



The Great Migration: Reflections of the Past in Anticipation of the Future

This program highlights intergenerational dialogues on the Great Migration through the eyes of our young interviewers who gained insight from the adults they spoke with. Learn how the Great Migration changed America's families and cultural landscape.See how this story is shared through the art of African American Artist Jacob Lawrence, who was only 23 years old when he created the Migration Series.

Saturday, February 18, 2023 - 1-2:30 pm 

Where: Ann Arbor District Library, Westgate, 2503 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor

This is a free program and open to the public

JANUARY Events - In honor of MLK Day and Black History Month, Ronnie and Gloria Peterson, along with the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County will host a month-long art exhibit featuring over 20 African American artists' works from Washtenaw county.  This premier event invites you to showcase your art at Riverside Art Center in Ypsilanti from January 20 through February 28, 2023. For more information or to RSVP email

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.

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