Houma's African American Museum goes mobile. Here's how to schedule a visit.
Houma's Finding Our Roots African American Museum is on the move and bringing history to the public.
Hurricane Ida in August 2021 damaged the building the museum leases on Roussell Street. Since then, it has been closed and its exhibits have been put away in storage.
Museum President Margie Scoby said she had to get creative. Now the museum is on the move in a 34-foot RV that made its first pop-up visit Wednesday at Houma's Main Libray.
The nonprofit museum charges $4 for entry, and inside the RV are photos, memorabilia and artifacts depicting different aspects of African American history in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. Scoby said the exhibits will be rotating with what is still in storage. She's working to get graphics for the RV's exterior that will display the museum's name.
Scoby said the RV will visit schools, libraries and other spots around the two parishes. Groups of 25 or more can schedule a visit by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erika Wolfe stopped by the RV after she saw it during a Louisiana Health Department conference at the library.
"This was right on time for me because I'm here for my job at an event for LDH, and I was like, 'What is that van?' " Wolfe said.
She said she had never visited the museum and just had to see it before going in the library.
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"The lady who is the midwife, for whatever reason, I took to that one, but as I'm walking out I saw the picture of the Black man with the scars on his back and that kind of resonated with me," Wolfe said after touring the exhibits. "I'm going to have to get my daughter over here because that's our history."
Scoby, the man, whose wounds were inflicted while he was enslaved, was named Peter, but his surname was lost to history. She said he had received 900 lashings to his back.
The midwife was named Zenobia Tolbert Thompson and she delivered babies along Bayou Grand Caillou.
The next stop for the mobile museum is Nicholls State University in Thibodaux during its Essence of Black Celebration, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. The event will be free to the public and will host food venders, live music, an auction and other events in conjunction with Black History Month. The RV will be located in the parking lot behind Talbot Hall and adjacent to the Ellender Memorial Library.
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Moving history: Houma's African American Museum goes mobile