Feb. 2, 2023
The City of Detroit recently announced a partnership with cultural and historic spaces to present an unprecedented commemoration of Black History Month 2023.
“Mayor Mike Duggan has made clear that it is our duty as public servants to ensure opportunities for all residents to have everything they need to thrive in work, education, and joy,” said Rochelle Riley, the city’s Director of Arts and Culture. “That includes ensuring that we embrace the cultural diversity of Detroit. So, we are wholeheartedly embracing Detroit’s complete, myriad, spectacular, heartbreaking, and persevering African American art and history. We want communities across metro Detroit to experience a beautiful and diverse array of arts and culture and to learn a powerful history that has often been hidden in several lifetimes.”
The month-long celebration will feature several events, including:
Sacred Spaces: Detroit ACE will partner with cultural and historic partners to present Sacred Spaces, a celebration of many of Detroit’s Black-owned and operated arts and cultural spaces. Participating galleries and cultural centers will host a month-long celebration of positive and meaningful images of African Americans and their centuries of contribution to American culture and history. The month will feature exhibits, film screenings, artist talks, and panel discussions. Sacred Spaces, which launches February 1, invites metro Detroit residents to visit 16 African-American-owned spaces to see creative and powerful art by more than 100 African-American artists. With support from the Ford Foundation, Sacred Spaces will end with a closing reception on February 28 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History designed to inspire reflection, discussion, and appreciation. Register for the reception at: sacredspacesreception.eventbrite.com
Detroit Black History Lecture: City of Detroit Historian Jamon Jordan will give his annual Detroit Black History Lecture at noon, Tuesday, February 28 at the historic Second Baptist Church, 441 Monroe St., on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his first, public Detroit speech at that church on that date in 1954. Please join Detroit ACE for a first-come, first-served free lunch and educational experience. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/detroit-black-history-lecture-tickets-528412314457
At the time of his Detroit speech, King had graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University had just accepted his doctoral dissertation. He had gotten married to Coretta Scott eight months prior. King, then 25, was giving a guest sermon and his father, Martin Luther King Sr., had a good relationship with the pastor of Second Baptist – Rev. A.A. Banks, who was away at the time of King’s visit. Before that year was over, King would be invited to be the pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. A little over a year after his appointment, a 42-year old seamstress, activist and wife – Rosa Parks – would refuse to give up her seat to a white man on the bus.
A 382-day bus boycott would result in the removal of Jim Crow on the Montgomery bus lines, as well as propel Dr. King to national prominence as a civil rights leader and Rosa Parks as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” Second Baptist Church in Detroit would be the largest single church donor to the boycott, and Rosa Parks, after facing a racist blocking of employment in Montgomery, would come to the city of Detroit and live here longer than she lived in Montgomery. King would be forever connected to Detroit, and the Civil Rights Movement would be a fundamental part of Detroit’s history.
Detroit Mural City Map: In celebration of Detroit’s rich history of African American art and civil rights, the Detroit Mural City Map will feature all month a collection of 18 murals featuring Black historic figures with Detroit connections. Each mural will link to an article about the history that inspired the art. To view the Black History Collection, visit www.detroitartsandculture.com and click on the Mural Map, then Collections. Finally, Historian Jamon Jordan will offer Detroit Black History Facts daily on City social platforms. The collection of 28 facts offers a powerful look at African American life and contributions for nearly two centuries.
The first one recounts the origin of Black History Month:
The 2023 participating partners for SACRED SPACES are:
Arts Extended Gallery: 5359 Vancouver St. Detroit
Blackbird Gallery: 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Fisher Bldg., Detroit, MI 48202 The Carr Center Contemporary: 15 E Kirby St. Detroit
Design Studio 6: 8626 W. McNichols (6 Mile) – Detroit, MI 48221
Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club: Marygrove Conservancy, 8425 W McNichols Rd, Detroit
The Fel’le Gallery: 19926 Livernois, Detroit
Harper Galleries of Art & Traditional Interiors: 173 E Grand Blvd, Detroit
Irwin House Gallery: 2351 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
Jo’s Gallery: 19376 Livernois, Detroit
Liberal Arts Gallery: 3361 Gratiot Ave. Detroit
Live Coal: 80 Clairmount Ave. Detroit
Mac Galleries: 18943 Livernois, Detroit
Mack Alive: 3746 Fischer St. Detroit
National Conference of Artists Gallery: 18100 Meyers Rd # 392, Detroit, MI 48235 (Northwest Activities Center)
Norwest Gallery: 19556 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48223
Sherry Arts LLC: WCCCD Larry K. Lewis Educational Center, 8200 W. Outer Dr. Detroit, MI 48219 and WCCCD Curtis L. Ivery Downtown Campus. 1001 W. Fort Street. Detroit, MI 48226