Black History Month Family Events in Southeast Michigan

Bring the whole family to learn about African-American art, history and culture at one of these events in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.

Black History Month Family Events in Southeast Michigan

February is Black History Month, which means it’s the perfect time to bring the family out for a learning experience. Here, you will find a listing of tons of story-tellings, musical and dance performances, interactive workshops and hands-on activities, great for anyone who wants to explore black history and culture, and gain awareness of the past. Discover what family-friendly Black History Month events the metro Detroit area has to offer, and which one, or ones, will work for you and your family.


Black History Month at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Feb. 1-28, 2016

  • Address: Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7900
  • Times: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (closed Mondays)
  • Cost: Free/Macomb, Oakland and Wayne county residents; others: $12.50/adults, $8/seniors, $7/college students with ID, $6/kids 6-17, free/kids 5 and under

The DIA’s renowned African art collection is yours to explore during all open hours; plus tons of family-friendly drop-in workshops, guided tours and short film screenings to enjoy. Don’t forget to swing by this month on select days for Chinese New Year and Valentine’s celebrations, too.

African History Through Music at Macomb Community College

Feb. 3, 2016

  • Address: Macomb Community College Center Campus library, Hall and Garfield roads, Clinton Township
  • Phone: 586-445-7999
  • Times: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Former WDET radio show host and accomplished blues performer Rev. Robert Jones Sr. presents this program, which traces the relationship of America’s folk music and social change. Start out looking at the music of the 1840s, move forward into the songs of the Underground Railroad, into the Industrial Revolution, and end in R&B and hip-hop tunes of today.

Celebrate Black History! at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn

Feb. 3-7, 10-14, 17-21 and 24-28, 2016

  • Address: Henry Ford Museum, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Times: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
  • Cost: Free admission with museum ticket: $21/ages 13-61, $15.75/ages 5-12, $19/ages 62-plus, free/kids 4 and under; $6/parking

Each week, this local spot teaches about different aspects of African-American history in the form of hands-on activities, African-American inspired food and more. Topics include the Civil Rights movement, the northern migration and slavery, among others.

Follow the Drinking Gourd at the Michigan Science Center

Feb. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27

  • Address: Michigan Science Center, 5020 John R St., Detroit (inside the Dassault Systemes Planetarium)
  • Phone: 313-577-8400
  • Times: 2 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. Saturdays throughout February
  • Cost: All access package: $28/adults, $24/ages 12 and under; fun day package: $24/adults, $21/ages 12 and under

This month, in honor of Black History Month, learn about the role the big dipper and north star played in helping runaway slaves. A trip to the Dassault Systemes Planetarium is included in either admission choice, so you can check out the Michigan Science Center’s hands-on exhibits after the planetarium show.

African-American History Day at Detroit Historical Museum

Feb. 6, 2016

  • Address: Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-1805
  • Times: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This annual family-friendly event features make-and-take crafts, story readings, games, Spin Art, and games, all in celebration of Black History. Special events within the event include stories read by Ivory D. Williams at noon, a performance by the youth of the Alnur African Drum and Dance Group at 1 p.m., a history presentation by April Ship called Living History of Savannah Magee at 3 p.m. and much more.

Oh Ananse! at PuppetART Detroit Puppet Theater

Feb. 6, 13, 18, 20, 27 and 28, 2016

  • Address: Detroit Puppet Theater, 25 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-961-7777
  • Times: 2 p.m. Saturdays (Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27 and 28); 10 a.m. Thursday Feb. 18
  • Cost: $10/adults, $5/kids; $8/puppet-making after show

This West African folktale tells the tale of what happens when the sky god, who owns all the stories in the world, gives Ananse the chance to tell these stories to people, but only if he passes three challenging tests. The show really comes to life with the help of a hip-hop influenced libretto soundtrack and beautiful handmade puppets. Stick around after the show to build your own puppet.

Life and Times of Harriet Tubman at the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center

Feb. 7, 2016

  • Address: Outdoor Adventure Center, 1801 Atwater St., Detroit
  • Phone: 844-622-6367
  • Time: Performances at 1 and 3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free with admission: $5/adults 13-61, $3/kids 2-12 and seniors 62+, free/kids under 2

Head to the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center for a special Black History Month celebration. Miz Rosie, while in costume, presents the story of Harriet Tubman’s life and her role as a conductor for the Underground Railroad. Learn what it was like to escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad, too.

Sphinx Competition at Orchestra Hall in Detroit

Feb. 7, 2016

  • Address: Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-576-5111
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: $15/general

Experience this celebration of musical diversity, which features performances by very talented black and Latino string players.

The Invention of Wings at Macomb Community College

Feb. 10, 2016

  • Address: Macomb Community College Center Campus library, Hall and Garfield roads, Clinton Township
  • Phone: 586-445-7999
  • Times: 9:30-11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

This book discussion takes a look at this read by Sue Monk Kidd, the same woman behind The Secret Lives of Bees. The story is inspired by Sarah Grimke and her sister who rebelled against their family, and society, by speaking in favor of equality for all African American slaves and woman.

Drum Me a Story by Wild Swan Theater

Feb. 10-13, 2016

  • Address: Towsley Auditorium, Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor
  • Time: 10 a.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. and noon Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday
  • Phone: 734-995-0530
  • Cost: $12/adults, $8/age 12 and under and seniors (60-plus)

Experience a collection of African tales in a ton of different artistic mediums, like storytelling, acting, dancing and drumming. Colorful costumes, masks, traditional African music, and tons of chances for audience participation add even more excitement to the performance. Note: Get your tickets ASAP, the Feb. 10 and 11 performances are already sold out.


Ford Free Second Sunday at the Wright in Detroit

Feb. 14, 2016

  • Address: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Schedule: 1-5 p.m. (story time at 2 p.m.)
  • Cost: Free

Ford Motor Company sponsors these monthly open houses at The Wright. This month, families can enjoy all of the African American exhibits that this local staple has to offer; plus an interactive story time for the kids

Ali at Macomb Community College South Campus

Feb. 17, 2016

  • Address: Macomb Community College South Campus, 12 Mile and Hayes roads, Warren
  • Phone: 586-445-7999
  • Time: noon-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

See a screening of this movie, which depicts the life of the famous African American boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

Black History Month at the Romulus Public Library

Feb. 23, 2016

  • Address: Romulus Public Library, 11121 Wayne Road, Romulus
  • Phone: 734-942-7589
  • Time: 6-7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Miz Rosie the Storyteller dresses up for this interactive presentation and acts out the life story of Rose Parks.

In Our Own Voice at the Farmington Community Library’s Farmington Branch

Feb. 23, 2016

  • Address: Farmington Community Library, 23500 Liberty St., Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-553-0300
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

A docent from the DIA talks about the creative contributions of African Americans from the 19th century to present day and takes a peek at race, gender, political and cultural issues. Note: Registration is not required, but is preferred, as only 90 spaces are available.

Red Tails at Macomb Community College

Feb. 24, 2016

  • Address: Macomb Community College Center Campus library, Hall and Garfield roads, Clinton Township
  • Phone: 586-445-7999
  • Times: noon-2:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American combat unit to serve in WWII. This film depicts their real-life struggles working their way up through an all-white military, and the challenges of war.

The Underground Railroad in Michigan at the Nankin Mills Nature Center

Feb. 27, 2016

  • Address: Nankin Mills Nature Center, 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland
  • Phone: 734-261-1990
  • Time: 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $3/Wayne County residents, $4/non-residents.

This program, which is recommended for history buffs ages 12 and up, explores the ties Michigan had to the Underground Railroad, and some lore from the era, too.

Anansi and the Box of Stories at the Farmington Community Library’s Main Branch

Feb. 27, 2016

  • Address: Farmington Community Library, 32737 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-848-4315
  • Time: 2-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Nancy Penvose from Once Upon a Puppet presents a performance of this West African tale of Anansi, a spider who asks the sky god to trade his stories if Anansi can complete four tasks. Good for ages 4 and up.


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