The Underground Railroad Michigan Connection at The Crofoot Ballroom

doors at 6pm
tickets: $5 (buy tickets)


The “Underground Railroad and its Michigan Connections” a stage performance with song and dance, will be presented as part of Black History Month, on Sunday, February 21, 6 PM at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 South Saginaw Street, Pontiac, Michigan.

The performers will wear clothing of the period. They will play the music and sing the songs that bolstered their courage as they escaped to Canada. Local “safe houses” will be projected on the screens, actually used on the Underground Railroad route. Dr. Wilie Payne will conduct the audience along the route slaves journeyed across Michigan. The performance will tell true accounts of how slaves escaped captivity with the help from abolitionists in Detroit, Pontiac, Farmington Hills and Orchard Lake.

The audience will meet Wellington Hullm, the great-grandson of the first African-American family that settled in Farmington, after returning from Canada in 1865. The family still owns the five-acre property at 11 Mile and Orchard Lake Road.

Even though slaves were brought to America as laborers and servants, because of their tenacity to be free and the help they received from Michigan abolitionists, they carved out different destinies for themselves as American citizens.

Dr. Payne is a former Pontiac mayor, who has refined the art of storytelling in his one hour-and-30 minute performance. Payne explained, “This is my way of teaching and preserving a rich history in an entertaining manner.”

This production has been the recipient of the Certificate of African American Historic Merit, the Frederick Douglass Award, Commendation from Michigan’s Governor John Engler, and the Congressional Certificate of Merit.

The performance is being sponsored by Pontiac’s Omicron Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and the Oakland County Ministerial Alliance. Funds raised from the performance shall benefit the fraternity’s Scholarship Fund.

Tickets are $5.00 each and can be purchased at the Crofoot, Box Office, 248-858-9333 and online at

The event is free to children 12 years old and under.

For Additional information, please contact Dr. Wilie W. Payne, 313-467-7930 or 248-268-4897


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