NewsBlack History Month

Highlighting Detroit's place in Black history for Black History Month

Black History Month 2024 graphic
Posted at 1:26 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-31 13:26:46-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — As we commemorate Black History Month, we want to look back at some of the people, places, and events that have made Detroit a hub of African American history and culture.

Over the last few years, we've partnered with Jamon Jordan, the official historian of the City of Detroit to highlight just some of the history that makes Detroit a hub for Black History Month. These are just some of the facts he's shared with us.


Known as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement for her role in sparking the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott that helped Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. become a national leader in the movement, Rosa Parks spent the last years of her life in Detroit.

Parks moved to the city after being blocked from employment following the boycott. She lived in a number of homes before being assaulted in a robbery in 1994. She spent her final years in the Riverfront Apartments until her death in 2005. Her funeral was held in Detroit and she was laid to rest at Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery.


The Motown Sound was arguably the soundtrack of the 60s and it was launched in Detroit by Berry Gordy. The studios on West Grand Boulevard where Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, The Supremes, and many other acts with Detroit ties put Hitsville U.S.A. on the map have been converted into the Motown Museum, which is currently undergoing a multi-stage renovation and expansion, the final phase of which is expected to begin construction this year.


The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is one of Detroit's crown jewels. The facility is known for hosting special events highlighting Black history and culture.


Second Baptist Church in Detroit has served as a beacon for African Americans since before the Civil War when it was used as a station on the Underground Railroad. The church has been a pivotal player in the Civil Rights Movement, even hosting speeches by Dr. King.


You may not have heard her name, but Fannie Richards fought against segregated schools and helped integrate Detroit's Public Schools decades before Brown V. Board of Education was decided by the US Supreme Court.