Thursday, June 27, 2013

Will There Be an African-American Museum in Gettysburg?

WW II vets outside Gettysburg's St. Paul A.M.E. Zion Church (photo undated)
Local residents in Gettysburg have been working on creating an African-American history museum for several years now. It seems like the 150th anniversary of the battle provides a great way of bringing more attention to their project. Here is a taste of Kevin Begos's article on the proposed museum at Bloomberg:

"Our story here in this town, and in this state, and in this country has not been told," said Mary Alice Nutter, 68, who has been working to fulfill her mother's dying wish for an African-American history museum in the town where Union soldiers turned the tide of the Civil War, helping to end slavery in the United States.

A century and a half after the Battle of Gettysburg, the nascent museum project is aimed not only at chronicling the deeds of the black soldiers who fought there and those who buried the dead, but also the experiences of their descendants who can recall a civil rights struggle that persists in living memory.

Nutter and other members of the community have been collecting photographs, historical records, and oral histories for the museum project currently housed in a small temporary space.

This sounds like a great idea.  If Gettysburg can have museums devoted to trains and Jennie Wade, an African-American history museum would be more than appropriate.