Detroit Black History Series

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Detroit Black History Series

This monthly virtual tour of important places, people & events from Detroit's Black History take us from the Underground Railroad to Motown.

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About this event

  • 2 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

Detroit has been a part of every part of the saga of African American History - From the Underground Railroad to the Great Migration - From the Jazz Age to Motown - From Civil Rights to Black Power - Detroit has been at the center of the fight for Black progress and has been a primary source for the contributions of African Americans to national and world history.

Please join Tour Leader & Official Historian of Detroit, Jamon Jordan, on these 10 virtual presentations & tours exploring people, places, and events in Detroit's history from the 1700s to the present. You can register for the entire series here!

They are all held on the 1st Monday of every month from 6-8pm (except for January and September, where they're held on the 1st Tuesday).

Learn about the history of slavery in Detroit!

Learn about how the Underground Railroad helped to build the Black community in Detroit!

Learn about the historic African neighborhoods in Detroit from Black Bottom to the North End!

Learn the history of the riots and rebellions in Detroit.

Learn how Paradise Valley paved the way for Motown Records!

Learn about the battles for fair housing, educational equality and the "I Have A Dream" speech before the March on Washington!


Presentation #1 - January 2nd - Enemies of Freedom: The History of Slavery & Slaveowners in Detroit.

Presentation #2 - February 6th - We Are Own Heroes: The Underground Railroad and the Fight For Freedom in Detroit. Learn about the abolitionist movement in Detroit and how it led to the development of the Black community.

Presentation #3 - March 6th - Lost Neighborhoods: Black Bottom. Learn the history of the first Black community in Detroit, the people, places and events that led to its rise, its growth and its destruction.

Presentation #4 - April 3rd - Lost Neighborhoods: Paradise Valley. Travel to the historic Black business and entertainment district in what is now Downtown Detroit, and how it paved the way for Black economic progress in Detroit and elsewhere!

Presentation #5 - May 1st - Forged By Fire: The History of Race Riots and Rebellions in Detroit. From the 1800s to the 1960s, there have been major riots, rebellions and uprisings in Detroit that are connected to the history of race and racism. Learn about the 1800s riots, as well as the later battles in the 20th century, right up to 1967.

Presentation #6 - June 5th - Detroit Divided: Jim Crow in Detroit and Detroit's Civil Rights Movement. Learn about Northern segregation and the history of Black resistance to inequality in Detroit.

Presentation #7 - July 3rd - Through the Fire: The History Behind the Detroit 1967 Rebellion. Learn about the Detroit 1967 Rebellion, what happened, why did it happen, and what happened because of it.

Presentation #8 - August 7th - More Than Motown: Detroit's Black Music History Before Hitsville. Learn about the jazz, blues, gospel and soul music that preceded the Motown era and helped to pave the way for Berry Gordy and others.

Presentation #9 - September 5th - Motown & More: The History of Motown & R&B in Detroit. Learn about Berry Gordy Jr. and the rise of Motown, and the Detroit history of its stars - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Supremes, The Temptations, Martha & the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson 5 and more. Also, the story of Aretha Franklin, Jackie Wilson and the development of Techno Music.

Presentation #10 - October 2nd - Beyond Black Bottom: Conant Gardens. Learn the history of this historic Black residential neighborhood that was a foundation in civil rights, faith, education business and entertainment.

Presentation #11 - November 6th - Beyond Black Bottom: The Old Westside. Learn the history of this historic Black residential and business district that was a foundation in civil rights, faith, education, business and entertainment.

Presentation #12 - December 4th - Famous Detroiters and Detroiters Who Ought To Be Famous

$50 per lecture

Sign up for one, two, or a few of these lectures/tours to take a deep dive in Detroit History!

If you would like to sign up for the entire series at a discount, please click the link below:

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