Coalition demands new leadership, change at Charles H. Wright Museum

Group holds press conference

DETROIT – It is considered one of the leading African American history museums in the country, but the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is drawing fire from the community.

A group of activists, artists and community leaders are stepping forward, saying the museum needs new leadership. That's not all though, there are issues with an upcoming exhibit as well.

"These are people that put the Charles H. Wright Museum together. We supported doctor Wright," said Ahmad.

Tahira Ahmad and Abdul Aquil are members of the Coalition for Black Legacy, a group of about 20 community organizations. The coalition feels the museum is heading in the wrong direction, starting with the departure of former CEO Juanita Moore.

The group is calling an upcoming exhibit of president Thomas Jefferson's plantation a slap in the face.

"The Jefferson exhibit is like bringing Hitler to the (U.S.) Holocaust (Memorial) Museum and trying to make it not look as bad," Ahmad said.

The coalition wrote to the board of the museum asking for three things. The first request was that community representatives be added to the museum board.

The second request was that a community representative be included on committee of the selection of the new CEO.

They also brought attention to their concerns and opposition regarding the exhibit that features Thomas Jefferson's plantation.

Ahmad said the museum board responded with denials. The group is holding a press conference to appeal to the community for support.


About the Authors: