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Alexandria Black History Museum, VirginiaIn the heart of the Parker-Gray Historic District, the Alexandria Black History Museum is in a 1940s structure that was originally the Robinson Library, the Black community’s first public library. Inside, you’ll find stories like that of Ferdinand Day, the first Black chairman of a public school board in Virginia, who helped desegregate higher education. Then there’s Lewis Henry Bailey, who was sold from the Alexandria Slave Pen—part of the headquarters for the largest domestic slave trading firm in the United States, Franklin and Armfield. When Bailey was emancipated in 1863, he walked from Texas back to Alexandria and went on to found five churches and two schools. “We tell the deep, wonderful, untold stories and hope mistakes and horrors aren’t repeated,” says museum director Audrey Davis.
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Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture, MississippiThis Natchez museum starts in 1716 and works its way to the present via art, photographs, documentaries, books—including those of native son Richard Wright—and more. The city’s legacy includes Forks of the Road, the second largest slave market in the South; the Rhythm Nightclub fire, where more than 200 Black people died; and the Parchman Ordeal, where hundreds of civil rights protestors seeking equal voting rights were rounded up and put in the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman in 1965. The museum is unique in its Civil War history: “People come here to start their ancestry search,” says Bobby Dennis, chairman of the Natchez Association of African American Culture. “They can access our log, pull up names of soldiers, and then go to the Department of Defense for records. This is a major step in finding information, because many records of Blacks were destroyed or hidden.”
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Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, Denver
At this museum, you’ll learn about the Black Cowboys and the Five Points neighborhood of Denver. From the 1920s to 1960s, Five Points was called the Harlem of the West because of its rich Jazz history, restaurants, and nightclubs. The neighborhood was frequented by the likes of Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, and Ella Fitzgerald. Then there’s the story of “Stagecoach” Mary Fields, the first Black postwoman in the U.S.
The museum explores the contributions of Black people in the development of the western United States. “Most people don’t know the stories in the museum,” says volunteer docent and board member Terry Gentry. “They show our strength, our innovation, a range of efforts to change our circumstances, to challenge and resist oppressive systems.”
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Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Charlotte, North Carolina
For people in Charlotte, the Gantt is a point of pride. The John & Vivian Hewitt Collection of African American Art brings together 58 works celebrating 20 artists, including Charlotte-born Romare Bearden and other master artists like Margaret Burroughs and Jacob Lawrence. The museum’s name honors community leader Harvey Bernard Gantt, Charlotte's first African American mayor.
“The Gantt is more than a museum,” says Witnie Martinez, vice president of institutional advancement at the museum. “We’re a cultural institution that embraces arts as activism.” Their most recent series, Unmasked, highlights the disparities long faced by African Americans and how these struggles are amplified through the pandemic.
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Jack Hadley Black History Museum, Thomasville, Georgia
Jack Hadley started collecting newspaper articles on the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, and eventually accumulated the memorabilia that led to this museum. One noteworthy project includes extensive oral history accounts of Black citizens who lived, worked, or were raised on the southern hunting plantations between 1900 and 1940.
You’ll find out about Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper, born a slave in Thomasville, who in 1877 became the first Black man to graduate from West Point and later was an inventor, author, special agent for the U.S. Justice Department, and assistant to the Secretary of the Interior. Other treasures include the 14-inch bronze statue of a Buffalo Soldier created by master sculptor Eddie Dixon, and stories about the Black-owned Imperial Hotel, a haven for Black travelers from 1949 to 1970.
“We want to document and highlight local and regional African American history, then show how these individuals, places, and movements are connected to the larger national historical narrative,” says museum educator JaMarcus Underwood.
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Chappie James Museum of Pensacola, Florida
United States Air Force General Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. was a Tuskegee Airman and made history as the first African American to become a four-star general in any branch of the military. The museum is in the same location as the house where Chappie grew up. This site, now in the U.S. Historic Register, is where his mother ran the Miss Lillie James School, and an important part of the Black community. The collection includes photos, memorabilia, and interactive and hands-on exhibits.
“History in public schools has declined to the point that children are unable to identify the historical value of many contributors to the American success stories—that are not Anglos—such as the Tuskegee Airmen and General Daniel ‘Chappie’ James Jr.,” says Ellis Jones, president of the museum’s board. “Children aren’t reading about them in their textbooks.”
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African American Museum and Library at Oakland, CaliforniaWhen you’re ready to dig deep into the experiences of African Americans in the West, particularly in Oakland, this is the spot. The archives include interviews with local civil rights activists, educators, writers, and musicians. The microfilm collection contains information on slavery, military service, and Oakland, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party. “The same struggles are being repeated, the same demands unmet,” says Jean Paul Zapata of Visit Oakland. “Through the lens of the past, we can hopefully better understand our present and future.”
They're all coming together under one theme: "Hope."
These brands will work with the organization and the Human Rights Campaign to put policies into practice to demonstrate their commitment to Black employees at all levels.
At Walt Disney, Chu is currently senior vice president of content for Disney Plus.
We regret to inform you the $265 cream is absolutely as good as the price tag would indicate.Originally Appeared on Glamour
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