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Happy Birthday, Dr. Charles H. Wright!

September 1-30

Honoring our Founder

All month long, we honor the mission, vision, and lasting legacy of our founder, Dr. Charles H. Wright! To celebrate his lasting legacy, our Friends Committee encourages everyone to become a member. Join now, and learn more about Dr. Wright’s story, mission, and vision!

About Dr. Wright: a man with vision

Physician, author, and activist Charles Howard Wright (September 20, 1918 – March 7, 2002) was born in Dothan, Alabama. Dr. Wright devoted his life to the Detroit community as a successful obstetrician-gynecologist, civil rights leader, institution builder, philanthropist, author and loving husband and father. A tremendous force in the integration of Detroit hospitals, Dr. Wright served as emeritus attending physician at Harper-Grace Hospital; senior attending physician at Sinai Hospital and assistant clinical professor of OB-GYN at Wayne State University.

On encountering a memorial to World War II heroes in Denmark, Dr. Wright felt inspired to create a repository for African-American history and culture, a space for celebration and remembrance that would inspire generations of visitors. This inspiration led him to open the International Afro-American Museum in 1965. Dr. Wright’s commitment to the Museum and other initiatives earned him the title of Father of the National Movement to Establish African American Museums.

The Wright Museum, Then and Now

Over half a century since Dr. Wright first opened the International Afro-American Museum in 1965, The Wright has expanded significantly in size and in ambition. The current, 125,000 square-foot facility serves as a cultural beacon for the City of Detroit, championing the stories of African Americans and offering a space for rigorous contemplation for visitors of all backgrounds.

The Wright Women

Fifty years ago, Willia Billingsley MillerBedia Thomas and the late Mildred Delores Pitts joined Dr. Wright on his journey to realize his dream. 

Affectionately referred to as "The Wright Women" by the Friends Committee, they have contributed to the institution's success through fundraisers, educational outreach, event coordination, and more.

We honor The Wright Women for their commitment through the decades!

Become a Member

Become a steward of Dr. Wright's legacy by preserving this institution for generations to come.

I was committed to what I defined as one of the most important tasks of our times...ensuring that generations, especially young African Americans, are made aware of and take pride in the history of their forebears and their remarkable struggle for freedom.
Dr. Charles H. Wright (1918-2002)

Get your September "Wright Message" Tee

All September, we honor the mission, vision, and lasting legacy of our founder, Dr. Charles H. Wright!  His quote that displays his passion for African American history is, "Knowledge of history isn't a luxury, but a necessity."  This comfortable tee is made of 100% ring-spun cotton, and double stitching on the neckline and sleeves add more durability to what is sure to be a favorite. All proceeds benefit the Museum. Honor Dr. Charles H. Wright and get your t-shirt today!

Support His Vision

Drive-Up Membership Campaign on September 18th

Each September, the Friends Committee hosts a month-long membership drive to celebrate Dr. Charles H. Wright's legacy. Visit the Museum on September 18th from 12 noon - 4 PM for our drive-up membership campaign! All participants will receive a 20% discount on arrival, and all proceeds will benefit the Museum.