Roots 101 African American Museum looks to create historical Black awareness
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Tracing your roots.
The Roots 101 African American Museum said they have big plans for Black History Month as they look to educate people about lesser known historical figures and events.
They said their goal is to give people a safe place to learn that Black History is American History.
For most around the country, Black History Month takes place in February but for Roots 101, it’s a 365 day a year affair.
CEO and Founder Lamont Collins said they want to remind folks that black people are defined by more than just their traumas.
“And just like a tree, you’re only as strong as the roots you come from and understanding that we did come from roots when America said we were only slaves but we were more than slaves,” Collins said. “It takes us to a whole new level knowing that we have a history to be proud of.”
Collins said his goal is to create a safe place where people can go on an educational journey. A journey that he started on as a little boy.
“When I was a little boy I looked in the mirror and saw a black boy, but America didn’t see me,” Collins said. “And I just grew up with the idea that I was going to make America see me and be like me and Roots does that. And that’s the importance of Roots 101, so our kids can see something that the world has never showed them.”
From the ‘Faces of Africa’ to ‘Protest to Progress’, the museum’s exhibits trace the history of African American culture.
Their most recent exhibit, “White Allies of Civil Rights’, showcases local people who chose to support the progression of black people.
The idea caught the attention of some Louisville Religious Leaders who wanted to be involved.
“I think having white allies in an African American situation is very important as it is for so many minorities throughout the world and I think this is one example of that,” Congregation Adath Jeshurun Cantor David Lipp said.
Cantor Lipp and his wife Rabbi Laura Metzger wanted to check out the exhibit but left learning they can make a difference being an ally and creating dialogue.
“What’s so essential is that we talk to each other and that we see the humanity in each other,” Rabbi Metzger said. “And ultimately I think that we can create friendships.”
A sentiment Collins believes can create a brighter future, despite the past.
“So when you go back to look at the history for what it is and what you can learn from it, what I always say is I teach the future so we won’t repeat the past,” Collins said. “So, if kids understand the future, they’ll know where we came from isn’t the way to go back to.”
Collins said the Museum will have Sankofa, where singers will portray history through song, on February 23rd and 24th at 6pm.
Other events include a history bowl between two predominantly black schools, as well as working with JCPS all throughout February.
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