Museum, EMU join in history exhibit on African Americans

Eastern Michigan University formed a cooperative partnership on Wednesday with the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit to create an interactive educational project on the Underground Railroad.

“The Underground Railroad Project will be a part of the permanent exhibit, ‘And Still We Rise.’“ said Ted Canady, director of public relations at the Charles H. Wright Museum.

“The exhibit is a 22,000 square-foot space that contains more than 20 galleries that allow museum patrons to travel over time and across geographic boundaries. People start in Africa, and after they face the horrors of bondage, work their way to the Underground Railroad.”

Dr. Melvin T. Peters, a professor from the African American Studies department at EMU, said, “I am pleased, but not surprised about the connection between EMU and the Charles H. Wright Museum. The [department of AAS] has long had a relationship with the museum, some of which I forged myself.”

Paul Mergatti, a marketing major and a sophomore, said, “The museum sounds really cool. I think that it is great that there is a museum dedicated to educating people about African American history.”

The Charles H. Wright Museum Underground Railroad exhibit will offer digital copies of primary resources, catalog records to manuscript collections and offer a virtual experience of the Underground Railroad. Peters said the “digital copies of the resources would be of a genuine pedagogical aid to me, and therefore to my students.”

These resources were developed to help educators use this information to teach their students. It includes elementary and secondary school plans with extended teaching units.

Peters said, “Students learn about the Underground Railroad and the pre-Civil War era in classes I teach, especially Introduction to African American Studies and Social Movements in the African American Experience.”

“Online materials that the museum has to offer will be a definite benefit to students learning about the era and the Underground Railroad. This part of Michigan played what should be a proud part in that history and that organization, although too many are unaware and some deny it.”

Some of these online materials include Pan African Nurturing and Development Association games, online materials and activities to help students learn about Africa and African American history.

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