Mobile museum sheds light on black history


Photo By Daniel Salomon

The SUN Dining Hall held artifacts of black history from the Black History Mobile Museum.

Ashley Sokolowski, Reporter

The Black History Mobile Museum visited AACC on Feb. 12, displaying artifacts ranging from the time of slavery to current movements.

“It opened my eyes,” Marques Thompkins, a second-year transfer studies student, said. “Now I look at things differently, because I didn’t realize that racism was [still] everywhere. It made me want to broaden my horizons and look at things differently.”

Some of the artifacts on display included whips and chains used on slaves in the 1800s.

“It is very shocking, but it helps provide context to what we see today and the lack of knowledge people have when it comes to certain things,” Dr. Nicole Williams, a human services professor and the coordinator of Black History Month events at AACC, said.

Also on display were caps, pins and pamphlets from the Black Panther movement of the 1960s and the Black Lives Matter movement of today, as well as artifacts celebrating black gospel and jazz music.

“I would say the generation now and coming forward [does not] want to take the time to know how [we got] to this point,” Bruce Sheppard, a first-year sports medicine student, said. “Instead [they focus] on improvements. Obviously improvement is good, but you got to know where you came from.”

Khalid El-Hakim, the museum’s founder, said he collects artifacts of both positive and negative impact on black culture. He said he started collecting them in 1991 and has about 7,000.

El-Hakim gave a lecture about the museum on the same day it visited the campus.

During the lecture, El-Hakim said “every last one of us” is complicit in perpetuating racism through humor online.

“In the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s it was postcards—in 2018 its memes,” El-Hakim said. “We promote white supremacy and black inferiority all the time with these memes we are creating.”