7 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Metro Detroit

Readings from local authors, historical films, and museum exhibition tailored for the month
Black History Month

There’s still one week to celebrate Black History Month and African-American community leaders of the past and present. Here are a few events — kid-friendly activities included — happening in the metro Detroit area.

Detroit Institute of Arts

You’ll experience an authentic historical work when you see The Flying Ace at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Released in 1926, this silent film was created by the black theatre circuit, which, at the time, created films for African-American audiences. The movie tells the story of a heroic African American World War I fighter pilot as he returns home from combat. When Captain Billy Stokes resumes his old job as a railroad detective, however, he finds that his daring and dangerous escapades are far from finished. Feb. 28. No cost. Detroit Film Theatre, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org

Detroit Historical Museum

Learn about local black history on African American History Day at the Detroit Historical Museum. This family-friendly event will feature various speakers and storytellers who will offer tours and educate participants on a variety of different topics, including the Underground Railroad, the Great Migration, and how the museum’s permanent exhibits relate to African-American history. Feb. 23. No cost. Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-1805; detroithistorical.org

Detroit Book City

Bring the whole family to purchase reading material that supports black authors at Detroit Book City’s Third Annual African American Family Book Expo. You’ll have the chance to meet more than 75 independent African-American authors, hear many of them tell their stories, and read their works at this event, which is designed to combat the low literacy rate in Detroit and help children develop a love for reading. Autographed copies of childrens’ and adult books will be for sale, and a kid zone will feature snacks, coloring sheets, balloons, and mascot appearances. Feb. 24. $3. Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers Rd., Detroit; 248-993-3844; detroitbookcity.com

Detroit Public Library

Learn about the African-American innovator whose contributions to technology are comparable to those of Thomas Edison — without the same recognition — with Taking the Mystery out of Black History. If you’re more into science than history, this Black History Month event is for you. Granville T. Woods made some of the first strides in the fields of wireless communication, electrical motor regulation, and electric transportation. Both children and adults are invited to learn about his role in developing modern technology. Feb. 24. No cost. Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-481-1300; eventbrite.com

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

See pop-up exhibits, hear special speakers, and listen to live music at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation’s Celebrate Black History event. Special exhibits and speakers focus on important figures, events, and occurrences in black history, such as Sojourner Truth, Elijah McCoy, the Civil Rights Movement, and more. The North Star Gospel Choir, Robert Jones and the Hamilton Family are set to perform at the event. Feb. 13-17, 20-24. No cost. Henry Ford museum of American Innovation, 20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn; 313-982-6001; thehenryford.org

The Samaritan Center

Attend the Black History Celebration: Unsung Detroit hosted by Disability Network Wayne County-Detroit. The program, which is designed to empower the Detroit community through history, will include cultural traditions, oral history, film, music, dance, and a special presentation by Alkebu-lan Village, an organization that provides educational, cultural and recreational programs to Detroit families. No cost. Feb. 22. No cost. The Samaritan Center, 5555 Conner St., Detroit; 313-579-4100; eventbrite.com

Royal Oak Public Library

Learn about the legendary civil rights activist and his impact on the city at Beyond Detroit Red: The History of Malcolm X in Detroit. Jamon Jordan, president of the Detroit chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History will speak about the controversial figure, who was assassinated 54 years ago this month. Attendees will learn about Malcolm X’s early life, career as a minister of Islam, and leadership in the civil rights movement. No cost. Feb. 21. Royal Oak Public Library, 222 East 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-246-3700; romi.gov

Who do you honor throughout Black History Month? Tell us in the comments below.

Related: The Palmer Woods Association Honors Black History Month With a Private Jazz Concert in One of the District’s 1920s Mansions