Bodman Honors Black History Month 2024
In honor of Black History Month 2024, Bodman encourages all of our employees, clients, friends, and followers to participate in events throughout the month of February.
Bodman’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee has compiled a list of opportunities in the communities we serve that are open for anyone to attend. The list appears below.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Book Talk and Celebration for Ibram X. Kendi
Thursday, February 1 from 5-7pm
The Wright Museum kicks off its Black History Month Program on Thursday, February 1 from 5-7pm with the #1 New York Times bestselling author and scholar Ibram X. Kendi. Along with President and CEO Neil Barclay, he will discuss his adaption of Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon. This adaptation gives young readers an introduction to the true-life story of Cudjo Lewis, one of the last known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade, who was abducted from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the U.S.
The Wright Conversations – Benjamin Crump
February 15 at 5pm
The Wright Conversations is a curated collection of events featuring dynamic speakers chosen by the President of the Wright Museum, Neil A. Barclay. Dedicated to bringing insightful and robust conversation to the Detroit community, the series addresses critical topics in the areas of civic engagement, art, history, and culture.
Through a steadfast dedication to justice and service, renowned civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost lawyers and advocates for social justice, earning the nickname “Black America’s Attorney General.” His legal acumen has ensured that those marginalized in American society are protected by their nation’s contract with its constituency. He is the founder and principal owner of Ben Crump Law.
Tickets available here
Sunday Films at the Wright
Becoming Frederick Douglass – February 4 from 1-3pm
Discover how a man born into slavery became one of the most influential voices for democracy in American history. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Stanley Nelson explores the role Douglass played in securing the right to freedom for African Americans.
Minga and the Broken Spoon – February 18 from 1-3pm
Minga is an orphaned girl living with her stepmother Mami Kaba and her stepsister Abena. One day when she was washing dishes in the river, she accidentally broke a spoon. A furious Mami Kaba then chased her away from the house, asking her to find the only identical spoon hidden by her late mother. An adventurous journey then begins for Minga in the forest.
Hope of Escape – February 25 from 1-3pm
This historical docudrama tells the true story that follows the incredible journey of an enslaved mother and daughter who must escape before they are sold and separated forever. Their only hope is to connect with their free relatives in the North and convince the most powerful abolitionists of their time to help them.
Register here for all films
Detroit Historical Museum
On the Shoulders of Giants: Celebrating Black History Month
February 24 from 10am-5pm
Join the Detroit Historical Society for an all-ages celebration honoring Detroit’s Black history!
1 p.m. Explore the legacy of civil engineer Cornelius Henderson in a lecture and panel discussion. Henderson played a key role in the design and construction of the Ambassador Bridge in the 1920s and worked on innumerable other projects during his 47-year career with the Canadian Bridge Company, including bridges, railroads, factories, residences, cemeteries, apartment buildings, and more.
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Catch a jazz performance by the Vincent Chandler Quintet.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Shop the vendor marketplace, featuring many Hustle honorees and other distinguished Detroit businesses.
Admission is free.
Henry Ford Museum
Celebrate Black History Month Guided Tour
Daily at 1pm
Join this 30-minute guided tour celebrating key African American trailblazers throughout the museum. From agriculture to manufacturing and beyond, learn how these African American innovators have left an impact on our world. Note: Tours will begin at 12:30 p.m. on February 3, 10, 17, 18, 24, and 25.
Pop-Up | “To Establish the Rule of Justice”: 60 Years of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Opens February 22
2024 marks 60 years since the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The culmination of decades-long activism from people of all colors and backgrounds, the act countered the racism of Jim Crow laws and made integration the word of law. This evolving, temporary pop-up will be installed in three parts, with each adding another chapter of the story.
Exhibit | With Liberty and Justice for All
Open all month
Explore the proud and often painful evolution of American freedom, from the Revolutionary War through the struggle for civil rights. Visit the Rosa Parks Bus nearly 70 years after Parks’ courageous act of defiance sparked the Montgomery bus boycott.
“Towards Justice” Guided Tour
February 4 at 11am and 2pm
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – MLK. Throughout history, African American changemakers have been seen as a threat to the status quo, but they all shared the same goal: to bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice. Join us for a reframed experience of With Liberty and Justice for All as we explore the stories of these changemakers and how they paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement.
A full schedule of all Black History Month events is available here
Ann Arbor District Library
Good Black History: Black Business Owners of the 1800s, with Anthony Brogdon
February 6 at 6:30pm at the Downtown Library
In this lecture, Detroit-based historian Anthony Brogdon will focus on what he calls “Good Black History”: the stories of Black business owners in the 1800s. Learn who they were and how they did it during this presentation and discussion.
The African American History of Detroit
February 15 at 6:30pm at the Traverwood Branch
Join us for a presentation by Professor Peter Boykin on the African American History of Detroit, beginning with illegal slavery in the city, as well as the city becoming a haven for the Underground Railroad. Other topics explored will be the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to Detroit, the election of Coleman Young as mayor, and the economic and political power of the African American population in the city during the latter half of the 20th century.
Film Screening: There Goes the Neighborhood: The Closing of Jones School
February 4 at 2pm at the Michigan Theater
Join the Ann Arbor District Library and 7 Cylinders Studio (7CS) for the premiere of a documentary film about the closing of Ann Arbor’s Jones School. In 1965, concerned citizens urged the Board of Education to close the majority-Black school. Ann Arbor joined a nationwide trend of school desegregation during the Civil Rights Era. But for these young students, the loss of a neighborhood school foreshadowed changes to their close-knit community. Gentrification came to Ann Arbor on the heels of desegregation.
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Challenges of Leading in Crisis with Lori Lightfoot
February 5 at 4pm – Weill Hall, Annenberg Auditorium
Lori Lightfoot was the 56th mayor of Chicago, the second woman, first African American female and first openly gay person to ever serve in that role. In conversation with Ford School Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes, she will reflect on her background and preparation for public service, the challenges she faced as mayor, and lessons about leading in crises.
The Black Business Expo
February 15 from 4-7pm – Michigan Union, Kuenzel Room
The Black Business Expo will create a space for Black entrepreneurs around on and around campus to showcase their products. This event is meant to uplift small businesses and give students the opportunity to explore all of the different businesses that are in Ann Arbor and Black-owned. There will also be a well-established Black keynote speaker at this event who will talk about their journey and share gems of wisdom about how to navigate Corporate America.
Assessing How Committed an Organization is to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
February 20 from 6-7pm – Student Activities Building, Program Room (3rd Floor)
How do you assess whether organizations are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion? Join us to learn how to assess various aspects of an organization’s culture during the job and internship search process through a DEI framing. During this session, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the challenges of navigating this process and practice actionable strategies to evaluate an organization’s commitment to DEI.
Grand Rapids Public Library – Main Library
The Black Panther and Beyond: The World of Afrofuturism with Dr. Julian Chambliss
February 17 from 12:30-1:30pm
Learn from teacher and scholar Dr. Julian Chambliss about the intersection of art, technology, and activism that forms the bedrock of the Afro Fantastic. Learn about the history and importance of Afrofuturism with a focus on comics and movies.
After the discussion, attendees can contribute to a community art canvas designed by Octavia Ink (Pretty in Ink Press) and enjoy refreshments provided by Social Chef Catering. Guests are encouraged to stay for a screening of the film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Click here to register.
World of Winter Festival: Black History Walking Tours
February 3 (2-3pm), 11 (4-5pm) and 26 (6-7pm) – meet at Rosa Parks Circle
Take a stroll through Grand Rapids’ Black History with guide Caroline Cook and learn about the people, places, events and stories from 1826 to now.
The event is free and registration is not required. Click here for more information.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
Innovators: Celebrating Black History
February 3 from 10am-4pm
A program showcasing Black innovators of the past, present and future that have made an impact on Grand Rapids will be highlighted through a new program at Grand Rapids Public Museum.
“Innovators: Celebrating Black History” showcases Black-led initiatives that have impacted local, national and global communities in innovative ways, organizers said. This includes temporary display “Booker T. Washington Visits Grand Rapids in the Streets of Old Grand Rapids,” a showcase of entries from the 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Legacy contest, and more.
The event is free with general museum admissions.