Detroit rocks black culture like no other city. It's about Motown and more -- soul food, jazz music, roots dance, triumphs and struggles, and, of course, people. If Detroit is the mother of black culture, then the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is her repository. The museum offers films, workshops, exhibits, artifacts, art treasures, and educational opportunities galore. Check out the September line-up for great back-to-school family outings.
- Charter One Free Family Second Sunday: The Charles H. Wright Museum (located at 315 E. Warren Ave. next to the Detroit Science Center) is open free to families from 1-5 p.m. every second Sunday of the month. The September 9 free family day coincides with Grandparents Day. Museum admission is free for grandparents and their grandkids from 3-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Be sure to hit the Jerry Pinkney exhibit (exhibit ends that day). Kids will recognize the works of this artist from favorite children's books.
- Group tour plus workshop: The Charles H. Wright group packages (15 or more people) get you a dollar off the ticket price ($4 per child and senior, $7 for adults). For an additional $2 per student, kids can attend a workshop on African flags, jewelry-making, or a treasure hunt. For kids in grades K-3, there's a children's discovery room. Group tours for this age group come with a free workshop. Educators and homeschoolers, here are extension resources.
- Costumed tour: School groups get a guided tour of the museum's ongoing 22-exhibit collection entitled "And Still We Rise: Our Journey through African American History and Culture." Period-dressed reenactors discuss their exhibit from a contemporary's perspective. $30 covers the guided tour. Guest get a museum and theater experience all in one. Follow up with visit to the Underground Railroad statue in Hart Plaza downtown (see Detroit 1701.org for details). Kids can look out across the Detroit River to Canada, just as escaping slaves did centuries ago.
- Hustle lessons: Sundays from 5-7 p.m., local dancer Thomasenia Johnson teaches the hustle (a dance similar to zumba) at the Charles H. Wright. Lessons are only $7 a week or free for members. Attend five times and get a year's free museum membership.
- Membership: Dues are cheap at the Charles H. Wright -- only $35 for an individual (3-17, $5; senior, $15; college students, $25) and $65 for families. You get a lot for that price: free admission, special pricing on events and restaurant, and free guest passes.
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