African American Cultural & Historical Museum

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This combination bus and walking tour starts at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center, 900 Oakwood in Ypsilanti. This tour revolves around Ypsilanti's black Civil War veterans. We’ll visit their resting sites during a walk through Highland Cemetery. From the bus we'll visit sites in downtown and on the south side of Ypslantii significant to African Americans during the late 1800s. AACHM Board members Deborah Meadows and Matt Siegfried will co-docent.

Tickets are $20 for individuals, $10 for students. For reservations or information about future tours or to schedule one for your group, church or family reunion, call or text 734-819-8182 or email deborahmeadows2@msn.com
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The Museum had a table and wall display at the 21st Annual African American Downtown Festival on June 4th at the corner of E. Ann and Main Street, Downtown Ann Arbor. Several people commented on how informative the panels were. The Museum also had a table display about the history of Juneteenth and Mayor Al Wheeler in the NAACP's 22nd annual Juneteenth Celebration at Wheeler Park in Ann Arbor on June 18th.
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Sunday, December 6, 2015 An Evening of Dinner and Jazz  The Museum’s 19th annual fundraiser was a success. The live jazz of world-renowned bassist Ron Brooks and his fantastically talented friends: Vincent Bowen, George Davidson, Tad Weed and guest vocalist, Betty Joplin, was the best way to kick off the holiday season. All proceeds support our annual operating expenses, educational programs, tours and exhibits. Make your reservations for 2016 now! Call 734-971-7819 or email aachmuseum@gmail.com
Sunday, October 11, 2015, 4 PM
Focus on the Arts - Mixed Media  Enjoy a rich viewer experience of mixed media work and meet the local artists who created them. Karmen Brown-sculpture; Shari Tellis and Angela Davis-jewelry; Mya Gold- leather journals; Maria Thompson-handpainted silk scarves, April Shipp-quilts. Light refreshments will be served. Location: Weatherstone Clubhouse 1660 Weatherstone (off Oak Valley Drive). This event is free and open to the public, donations are welcome For more information call Deborah Meadows at 734-819-8182 or email deborahmeadows2@msn.com

Sunday June 28
  7 pm Focus on the Arts Gospel Concert
This evening features some wonderful performers and choirs in the Kerrytown Concert House. Tickets are $20 each for adults and $5 for students, call 734-819-8182 or email

May Events: All or Nothin’ and Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

“All or Nothin” This movie dramatizes the journey of 28 enslaved Americans from Boone County, Petersburg, Kentucky through 4 states and 2 countries to the farm of Michigan conductor Asher Aray from Washtenaw County. An abolitionist of mixed heritage who narrates the story of a secret society of friends differing in ethnicity, gender, and faith. All or Nothin' is a Charles K.Campbell Film – Executive Producer, Deborah Meadows. www.asheraray.tumblir
“Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” This year’s honorees included Joetta Mial, the first African American principal of Ann Arbor Huron High School, Robert A. Hill, founding pastor of Christian Love Fellowship Ministries and John E. Lawrence, guitarist, artist, educator, and recently retired Head of Washtenaw Community College Performance Music Department. Directed by AACHM Advisory Board Member Debby Mitchell.
Sunday, March 22, 1:30 PM
Michigan’s Role in the
Underground Railroad

Deborah Meadows will present a program on Washtenaw County's part in the Underground Railroad,  including information on local abolitionists, sites and events significant to Michigan's Underground Railroad history.

The presentation will take place at the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County meeting on Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. in the Education Center Auditorium at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti.

The meeting is free and open
to everyone.  The program will present highlights about the
African-American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County as well. 

The class following the presentation will be "The Library -- Shelves Full of Family History", presented via DVD by John Phillip Colletta. Discussion afterwards will be led by Marcia McCrary.
Thursday, April 9, 6:30 PM
Journey to Freedom
Underground Railroad Bus Tour

This tour focuses on the community of Ypsilanti. The Underground Railroad was a secret network of routes, hidden places, determined citizens and self-liberated people of color seeking freedom. Two essential routes to Detroit and ultimate safety in Canada crossed in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Discover the role Washtenaw County played on this docent guided bus tour by the exteriors of local and nationally-known Underground Railroad landmarks, sites and homes.
Please call tour docent Deborah Meadows at 734-819-8182 or email:deborahmeadows2@msn.com

Individuals: $20

Tours depart from Washtenaw Community College parking lot,
(in front of the Industrial and Tech Building). Parking is free.
Thursday, April 9, 6:30 PM
Ypsilanti African American Soldiers in the Civil War

Nearly seventy Ypsilanti African-American men served in the Civil War, including a dozen who never returned.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary) of the defeat of the Confederacy, April 9, 1865, join local historian Matt Siegfried for a presentation as we follow their journey day by day through the War.

Whether with Michigan’s 102nd United States Colored Troops or the “Glory” regiments of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantries, Ypsilanti men were stationed on the Sea Islands off the coast South Carolina, home to thousands newly emancipated from bondage.

There they were at some of the War’s most iconic moments like assault on Fort Wagner, the liberation of Charleston and Sherman’s March to the Sea.

We will learn the stories of the Ypsilanti men who volunteered, their life in camp, the battles they participated in, the plantations they helped to liberate and their lives after the war.
  • April 11, Ypsilanti Underground Railroad Tour
  • June 14, Ypsilanti Civil War Tour w/Matt Siegfried
  • June 28, Focus on the Arts: Gospel
  • July 25, Scan/Collection Day
  • August 1, Ypsilanti Emancipation Day Tour w/Matt Siegfried
  • October 4, Ann Arbor Underground Railroad Tour
  • October 11, Focus On the Arts: Jewelry/Mixed Media
  • November 15, Annual Meeting
  • December 6, 19th Annual Evening of Dinner of Jazz
Times and locations will be announced.

Museum 2014 Community Events

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Focus on the Arts: Authors

The FOA: Authors event took place on Sunday, October 5 at Washtenaw Community College. We were intrigued by six African American female authors who discussed and shared excerpts from their books. Each was different and unique and had a lot of wonderful information to share with the audience. The program was followed by an informal book signing. A special “Thank You” to the authors Leslie McGraw, Denise Eaddy Richadson, Melissa Redding, Karen Simpson, Marnise Limbrick Roberts and Dr. Heather Neff.

Underground Railroad Bus Tour, Walk & Talk! Fall 2014

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Journey to Freedom 2014 Two essential routes to Detroit and ultimate safety in Canada crossed in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Discover the role Washtenaw County played on this docent guided tour by the exteriors of local and nationally known Underground Railroad landmarks, sites and homes. For more information and to make your reservations call Tour Docent Deborah Meadows at 734-819-8182 or email aachmuseum@gmail.com
Living Oral History Project
Sunday, September 28, 3 PM
Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth
Mrs. Dorothy Wilson pictured here with President Joyce Hunter was interviewed for phase II of our LOH Project. Mrs. Wilson was born in 1911 and had a wealth of information to share during her interview. You can preview the interview with Mrs. Wilson along with the interviews of Mrs. Barbara Meadows, Mrs. Tessie Freeman, Mr. Paul Wasson as well as Mr. John Barfield. This event is free and open to the public.
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On June 29, we continued our series on highlighting local talent through our Focus On The Arts Program. This event was a Gospel Concert held at the Kerry Town Concert House. This was a wonderful evening that was enjoyed by all those in attendance.
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Historical Objects Inventory: Community Scan Day

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Saturday, March 29, 2014
10 AM - 2 PM, The Ann Arbor Community Center
625 N. Main Street, Ann Arbor

You are invited to bring photos, documents and other items that tell the history of your family, organization, church, business or African American Washtenaw County connection to be entered into an Historical Objects Inventory (HOI) database. These items and objects will be documented, scanned or photographed (at no charge) and returned immediately to the owner. Whether it’s your grandmother’s wedding dress, childhood memories, photos or even “Papa John” Easley’s barber chair... our goal is to document and preserve a digital record. With your participation, this database will become the most comprehensive digital collection of Washtenaw County Black American historical items and family artifacts.

“Papa John” Easley at work in his barbershop on Ann Street,Ann Arbor 1947 (Source: Mel Chatman, ellisfamilystory.com)

Zingerman's 9th Annual African American Foodways Dinner
The African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County presents

A Culinary Journey
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 @ 7:00 pm
Zingerman’s Roadhouse • 2501 Jackson Ave • Ann Arbor

Our community is rich with African American culture, history and knowledge and at
Zingerman's 9th Annual African American Dinner we will celebrate the AACHM.
From recently filmed Living Oral History interviews, to the Underground
Railroad Tour, discover what local African-Americans witnessed,
experienced, and contributed to building the community we share
today. Chef Alex has created a menu highlighting the journey of seven
of our families, sharing their history through food.

$55 dinner Price includes food and gratuity.Beverages additional and purchased at the dinner.
Click here for a flyer

Reservations are available now by visiting www.zingermansroadhouse.com

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Kick off the Holiday Season on Sunday December 1, 5-8PM at Polo Fields Washtenaw, 2955 Packard Road in Ypsilanti
You are invited to join us for a mix and mingle, cash bar, delicious dinner buffet and live music with good friends. It’s a night full of great jazz with the legendary Ron Brooks on bass and his incredible group of musicians including Tad Weed, George Davidson and Vincent Bowen. The vocal stylings of Betty Joplin add the extra touch of magic. All proceeds benefit the AACHM Annual Fund. Tickets are $50 each and available for purchase online or call Cheryl Ervin at 734-971-7819 to make your reservations. You can also email aachmuseum@gmail.com

Living Oral History Project

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The Living Oral History premiere was a huge success on September 22. Rosemarion Blake, Russell Calvert, Lydia Morton, Willis Patterson, and Johnnie Mae Seeley were interviewed for Phase I. Discover what these five individuals witnessed, experienced, shared, and contributed
to build the community we live in today.Please view the entire interviews here.

Focus on the Arts Series

The October 20 Focus On The Arts displayed the works of Gregory Sipp and Travis Erby at the Gladwin Barn in Ann Arbor. Both artists are very talented, and we really enjoyed having an opportunity to see and talk with them about their work.

The June 23 Focus on the Arts highlighted youth artists and the adults who worked with them in poetry, creative writing and fine arts.
Featured artists & authors:
  • Charles K. Campbell – Author and director of short film, “The Boy With No Joy”
  • Gary Hopkins – Graphic design; Mark Miller – Painting and ceramics
  • Thomas Myers – Drawing and painting; Anthony Stewart – Painting
  • Jonathan Royce – Author, “Detective Dwayne Drake and the case of the Alphabet Thief”
  • Lola Jones – Author, “Childrens’ Choices”