February 2, 2017

Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections Staff

Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections Celebrates Black History Month

Pictured are Deborah Davis, director of VSU's Archives and Special Collections; and Julia Rodriquez, VSU junior.
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University's Odum Library presents “A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture.” This celebration of Black History Month will run though the month of February and is open to faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees, and friends of the university.
The exhibit features a collection of images of items housed in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in Washington, D.C., in September 2016. Highlights include the child-size shackles of a slave; the clothing worn by Carolotta Walls on her first day at Little Rock Central High School;  Chuck Berry’s Gibson guitar, Maybellene; and the track shoes worn by Olympian Carl Lewis.
The exhibit is presented in collaboration with Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for 65 years. It connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history.
The inspiration for the museum began with a call for a national memorial to honor the contributions of African American Civil War veterans. After decades of efforts by private citizens, organizations, and members of Congress, federal legislation was passed in 2003 to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Since then, thousands of artifacts have been collected to fill the new building. Through its exhibitions and programs, the museum is a place where all can gather to remember, reflect, and embrace America’s story: a place for all people.
The Odum Library is also hosting “African American History Materials Held by the Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections,” which features a collection of artifacts that give faculty, staff, students, and community researchers a look inside the lives of African Americans throughout United States history.
Highlights of the exhibit include newspapers created by African Americans and civil rights activists; writings and publications by civil rights journalists, one of whom participated in sit-ins and freedom rides; rare books from the 19th and early 20th century written by African American authors; interviews and photographs of South Georgia citizens exploring 20th century race issues; bills of sale for slaves; speeches on slavery from the mid-1800s; and pictures and stories of one family’s educational history.
Both exhibits located in the first floor lobby of Odum Library. Admission is free of charge.
Contact Deborah Davis, director of VSU Archives and Special Collections, at dsdavis@valdosta.edu to learn more.
On the Web