Founded by Dr. Charles H. Wright in 1965, this museum is presently located at 315 E. Warren Avenue, in the heart of the Cultural Center of Detroit, Michigan. As per its website, the mission of the Charles H. Wright African American History Museum is “to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture” and its vision is “…of a world in which the adversity and achievement of African American history inspire everyone toward greater understanding, acceptance and unity!” In meeting this mission and vision, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History contains greater than 35,000 artifacts and archival materials and one of the largest permanent exhibits on African-American culture in the world!
This museum was created because Wright, an African-American physician and gynecologist practicing in Detroit, felt that African American culture and history had to be collected, curated and preserved in order to educate the public. On the museum’s website, his humility and wisdom inspire, when he said, “My legacy was my job. Everything I did was what I was supposed to do. I worked with untold numbers of mothers to deliver 7,000 babies in Detroit, partnered with Margaret Burroughs, founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, to form the African American Museums Association … I was committed to what I defined as ‘one of the most important tasks of our times,’ ensuring that generations, especially young African Americans, are made aware of and take pride in the history of their forebears and their remarkable struggle for freedom. An idea came to me that African Americans needed a museum to collect and preserve our history and culture. And, with the help of many minds and hands, that idea came to fruition.”