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African American Culture

Historic Sites

Visit the historic sites in the Greater Lansing African American heritage.

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Annual Events

African American celebrations and events happening in Greater Lansing.

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While Black History has traditionally been celebrated during the month of February, in Michigan’s Capital region visitors can find the history and valuable benefactions that African Americans have contributed (and still do) throughout the region each and every day..

Historic Sites of Interest

702 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, 48909



Exhibits include audios of favorite Motown songs and the piano from the Michigan School for the Blind on the north side of Lansing where Stevie Wonder attended school.

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1029 W. Barnes Ave., Lansing 48910



This charter school opened in 1995 as a charter school patterning its curriculum after the teachings of civil rights leader Malcolm X who spent much of his youth in Lansing. The school closed in 2019.

301 N. Butler St., Lansing



Founded in 1945, the original purpose of the Clubhouse was to provide a designated meeting place for all minority women and to cultivate peace, harmony, and happiness among citizens irrespective of race, color or creed such that all people may enjoy a higher standard of living for peace and contentment.

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100 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing



There are many portraits that hang within the State Capitol Building. One of the most asked about is the portrait of William Webb Ferguson, Michigan’s first African American legislator. His portrait hangs outside the Old Supreme Courtroom where he won a historic case against racial segregation in 1890. Elected to the House of Representatives in 1892, Ferguson authored legislation prohibiting discrimination in the life insurance industry, and a bill providing pensions to Detroit firefighters and their families.

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One of so many local artists, Brian Whitfield’s energetic, vibrant work can be found in the Lansing Art Gallery and other traditional spaces, but also in large mural sized spaces throughout Lansing. His “Under the Bridge” is located where US 127 bridges Michigan Avenue and shoppers to Capital City Market in downtown Lansing can enjoy his beautiful art when entering from the parking lot.

Annual Celebrations

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Support Local Businesses

Member Owned Black Businesses

All Body Kneads

All Body Kneads is owned by Certified Independent Therapeutic Massage Therapist Bilky Joda-Miller who is also a Member of the…

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Elderly Instruments

Elderly Instruments, a family-owned and world-renowned music store in Lansing's historic Old Town, specializes in stringed and…

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FieldHouse

FieldHouse is the perfect place for you and your friends to gather and watch a game, drink beer, listen to a DJ spin your favorite…

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McAlister's Deli

As soon as you enter, you'll be greeted by our unique menu filled with a wide variety of soup, sandwiches, spuds, salads, sweets…

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Metro Melik 517

It's more than a cool gift. MM517 is an artful approach to gift-giving. MM517 is an art gallery with apparel, curated art, gift…

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Middle Village Micro Market

This one-stop retail store was first created by Downtown Lansing Inc. with the support of Lake Trust Credit Union, to lift up…

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Mr. Leslie's Cheesecakes

Marcus Leslie is a native of Detroit who has loved baking since he was a child. Mr. Leslie spent decades developing his recipes…

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Moneyball Sportswear

Desmond Ferguson has always had a passion for sports, especially the game of basketball. The name Moneyball was given to Ferguson…

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Skin Studio 211 - East

Skin Studio 211 offers a full range of services and specialties at a price that cannot be beaten. We pride ourselves on providing…

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Stellableu Designs

Stellableu is passionate about bringing your vision to life. We want to help make your celebration memorable and elevate your…

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Sweet Encounter Bakery Cafe

Sweet Encounter is a gourmet bakery & café specializing in scrumptious, made from scratch gluten-free, soy-free, and peanut-free…

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Tatse Restaurant

Tatse is an African-infused, American fast-casual restaurant that offers locally sourced ingredients to create healthy African…

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The New Citizens Press

The New Citizens Press is dedicated to providing Blacks and Latinos information, support and reassurance via their publication…

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The Venue by Eleven 11 Events

The Venue by Eleven 11 Events is Lansing, Michigan’s hottest new space for weddings, corporate and networking events, birthday and…

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Check out this comprehensive list of black and minority-owned businesses in Greater Lansing. 

Historical Timeline

Lansing’s African American heritage is as old as the city itself. Lansing’s first black resident, James Little was a freed slave from New York and settled a small farm in nearby Eaton County in 1847.  Some 20 years later he moved closer to Lansing and was extremely active in his church and other community activities and became a beloved citizen.

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