As part of its Black History Month programming and in honor of President’s Day, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History presents a free panel discussion and Q&A exploring the historic importance and symbolic meaning of the election of the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama. The event, which coincides with the museum’s presentation of the Visions of Our 44th President exhibit, is moderated by Bankole Thompson, senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle, and takes place Tuesday, February 19 at 7 pm in the museum, located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center.
“Black History Month is an opportunity to look to the historic efforts put forth by individuals determined to see a better present and a greater tomorrow,” says Juanita Moore, president & CEO of The Wright Museum. “We look forward to discussing the history that produced our nation’s first African American President and what it has means for greater electoral participation.”
Bankole Thompson, a nationally renowned journalist and author of two books on President Obama, “Obama and Black Loyalty” and “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” will lead a group of panelists with a wealth of relevant expertise and personal experience. They include:
• Jocelyn Benson, Interim Dean of Wayne State University Law School
• Dr. Vincent Hutchings, Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan
• Ismael Ahmed, former Director of Michigan’s Department of Human Services and founder of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (“ACCESS)”
• John W. Hardy, Freedom Rider and Mississippi voter registration field organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (“SNCC”)
The discussion coincides with Visions of Our 44th President, the museum’s first national touring exhibit, which presents 44 artists’ interpretive busts of President Obama. In an attempt to bring varying experiences together to explore the conditions, events, and historic participation that led to the election of President Obama, the discussion will examine what the recent elections mean for the voting rights of minorities and women. The event, made possible by support from the Michigan Humanities Council, is free and open to the public, and attendees can visit the Visions exhibit free of charge from 6 – 7 pm immediately preceding the discussion.
About the Michigan Humanities Council
The Michigan Humanities Council is a private, nonprofit organization created to foster a better understanding of each other and our state through local cultural, historical and literary experiences for all. The Council was founded in 1974 and is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and individual donors. For more information on future programs, upcoming grant opportunities or how you can support these efforts, please visit www.michiganhumanities.org.
About The Wright Museum
Founded in 1965 and located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is the world's largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. For more information, please visit www.TheWright.org