By Jueseppi B.
Throughout the month Of February, TheObamaCrat™ will post a daily series called The Black History Moment Series. Each day for 28 days of this historic month you will be given the food of Black History to satisfy your hunger for knowledge.
Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #8: Charles H. Wright Museum Of African American History.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is located in the Cultural Center of the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 1965, it holds the world’s largest permanent exhibit on African American culture. In 1997, it moved into a 120,000 square foot (11,000 m²) facility on Warren Avenue. The Wright Museum has dual missions, serving as both a museum of artifacts and a place of cultural retention and growth.
The Museum owns more than 30,000 artifacts and archival materials. Some of the major collections it is home to include the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, the Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, a Coleman A. Young Collection and a collection of documents about the labor movement in Detroit called the Sheffield Collection. Also in the museum is an interactive exhibit called And Still We Rise: Our Journey through African American History and Culture, seven exhibition areas devoted to African Americans and their lives, the Louise Lovett Wright Research Library, and the General Motors Theater, which is a 317 seat facility for film, live performances, lectures, and presentations. A terrazzo tile creation titled Genealogy is in the Ford Freedom Rotunda Floor and the museum is topped by a 100 feet (30 m) by 55 feet (17 m) glass dome. The museum store sells authentic African art and books, as well as other merchandise.
Dr. Charles Wright, a practicing physician, was inspired to create an institution to preserve African-American history after he visited a memorial to Danish World War II heroes in Denmark. In 1965, Dr. Charles H. Wright opened the International Afro-American Museum on 1549 West Grand Boulevard in a house he owned. Some of the exhibits included the inventions of Michigander Elijah McCoy, and masks from Nigeria and Ghana that he had acquired while visiting there.
The next year, he opened a traveling exhibit to tour the state. With support from family friends of Dr. Wright, Helen Conley Cargle and Frank Cargle, plans were established for larger, formal museum to house the growing collection. In 1978, the city of Detroit leased the museum a plot of land in Midtown near the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Institute of Art, and the Detroit Science Center. Groundbreaking for a new museum occurred in 1985, and the museum was renamed the Museum of African American History. Dr. Wright, Helen Conley Cargle and Frank Cargle would eventually join the board of directors for the new institution.
|Charles H. Wright Museum of
African American History
|Type||Human and cultural history|
Charles H. Wright
Charles Howard Wright (September 20 1918 – March 7 2002) was a Detroit physician and founder of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Charles H. Wright was born in Dothan, Alabama and graduated from Southeast High School in 1935. He attended Alabama State College, graduating in 1939, and entered Meharry Medical College, from which he graduated in 1943. Wright wanted to enter Obstetrics and Gynecology, but there was no slot available. Instead, he served two residencies in pathology, one at Harlem Hospital in New York City, and the second at Cleveland City Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
Wright practiced general medicine in Detroit from 1946 until 1950, at which time Harlem Hospital notified him of an opening in their Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program. He returned to New York and completed his residency there in 1953.
When Wright returned to Detroit, he received admitting privileges at Hutzel Hospital, and was board certified as a general surgeon and OB/GYN specialist in 1955. He became a Senior Attending Physician at Hutzel Hospital until his retirement in 1986. He was also an emeritus attending physician at Harper-Grace Hospital, a senior attending physician at Sinai Hospital, and served as an assistant clinical professor of OB-GYN at Wayne State University Medical School.
In 1960, Wright ordered funds for medical training for Africans in United States through the Detroit Medical Society. Within the year of 1964-1965, Wright engaged in a medical surveys in West Africa. He served as a physician during the civil rights marches in 1965 in Bogalusa, Louisiana.
Wright was the writer and publisher of the Medical Association Demand Equal Opportunity, and wrote two books on Paul Robeson: Robeson: Labour’s Forgotten Champion and The Peace Advocacy of Paul Robeson.
In 1965, Wright opened the International Afro-American Museum on West Grand Boulevard. The next year, he opened a traveling exhibit to tour the state. In 1978, the city of Detroit agreed to lease the museum a plot of land in Midtown. Groundbreaking for the new museum occurred in 1985, and the museum was renamed the Museum of African American History. A larger museum was built ten years later, opening in 1997. In 1998, the museum was renamed the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in dedication of Dr. Wright.
Destruction of the Black Family Part 8: A history.
The Revolutionary period saw another metamorphosis of the black family as the Northern states abolished slavery, the South opened up to interstate slave trade, and planters moved West. While the newly free blacks of the North started laying the foundations for stable communities centered on the family, the life of the slave family in the South was destabilized. As the geographic center of the agricultural economy shifted, the devastation of slave families became more frequent.
Economic benefit almost always outweighed considerations of family ties for planters, even those who were advocates of long-lasting relationships between slaves. Because of the high premium placed on male labor, throughout every period of American slavery, black men were the most likely to be parted from their families. For slave owners, who considered the basic family unit to be comprised of mother and child, husbands and fathers could be, and were, easily replaced. Many a slave woman was assigned a new husband by her master. Male children were also frequently taken from slave mothers. The bond between an enslaved mother and daughter was the least likely to be disturbed through sale. Yet this tie was also fragile. Owners could reap large returns by selling pretty girls, especially light-skinned ones, into prostitution or concubinage.
The possibility of separation was an ever-present threat to every member of a slave family. When a master died, his slaves might be indiscriminately distributed among his heirs or sold off to multiple buyers. When a planter’s child was born or married, he or she might receive the gift of a black attendant. Mothers were taken from their own children to nurse the offspring of their masters. And slave children were torn from mothers and brought into the house to be raised alongside the master’s sons and daughters.
The prevalence of single mothers and orphaned children on plantations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially, necessitated communal parenting, focused on maternal figures. On smaller farms and plantations, a mother might bring her children with her out into the fields when she worked. On larger plantations, however, children were left behind, often cared for by “aunts” or “grannies,” older women no longer useful as field hands.
The Destruction of the Black Family Part 9: 2 stories
One time dey sent me on Ol’ man Mack Williams’ farm here in Jasper County-Georgia. Dat man would kill you sho. If dat little branch on his plantation could talk it would tell many a tale ’bout folks bein’ knocked in de head. I done seen Mack Williams kill folks an’ I done seen ’im have folks killed. One day he tol’ me dat if my wife had been good lookin’, I never would sleep wid her agin ’cause he’d kill me an’ take her an’ raise chilluns off’n her. Dey uster [used to] take women away fum dere husbands an’ put wid some other man to breed jes’ like dey would do cattle. Dey always kept a man penned up an’ dey used ’im like a stud hoss.
WILLIAM WARD, enslaved in Georgia, interviewed 1937 [WPA Slave Narrative Project]
He had so many slaves he did not know all their names. His fortune was his slaves. He did not sell slaves and he did not buy many, the last ten years preceding the war. He resorted to raising his own slaves. . . .
. . . A slave girl was expected to have children as soon as she became a woman. Some of them had children at the age of twelve and thirteen years old. . . .
Mother said there were cases where these young girls loved someone else and would have to receive the attentions of men of the master’s choice. This was a general custom. . . The masters called themselves Christians, went to church worship regularly and yet allowed this condition to exist.
HILLIARD YELLERDAY, enslaved in North Carolina, interviewed ca. 1937 [WPA Slave Narrative Project]
Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series.
Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #4 The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.
Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #5 Rosewood, Florida. The Rosewood Massacre.
Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #6: The Destruction of The Black Family.
Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #7: Black Indians In The United States.