Vigo County History Center Announces “The African American Experience in Vigo County: Pioneers of Excellence”
The Vigo County History Center wants to let you know about the newest addition to the Museum’s County History Exhibit; “The African American Experience in Vigo County: Pioneers of Excellence” The items currently displayed represent the influence of specific African Americans in Vigo County history and their legacy, as well as significant organizations such as the local NAACP. Highlighted figures include, school superintendent and principal of Booker T. Washington School Allan Parks, Aviatrix Willa Brown Chappell, early educator and Civil Rights activist Albert Meyzeek, and many more. From the first pioneers who came to the Lost Creek
Settlement to local business owners and equal rights activists, the African American Experience in Vigo County has long been a courageous story of untold purpose. The History Center hopes to utilize a variety of resources to play a formative role in producing diverse programs and exhibit spaces.
“The ways we interpret “culture” are constantly changing and it’s essential for museums to take up an inclusive position when it comes to education and the consideration of current practices,” said Suzy Quick, the museum’s Collections and Programs Coordinator. “The museum has a wonderful collection of African American heritage and we’re glad our new space allows us to expand the ways we display and communicate this important part of not just Black history, but everyone’s history.”
According to Quick the display will change at times to feature various aspects of the African American Experience. “We want to share fresh content that will engage a broad range of generations. Most importantly we offer educational opportunities that reach out to all our visitors.”
For the month of September, the display will feature a collection of NAACP membership pins dating back to 1945. The collection is on loan from Dr. Crystal Mikell Reynolds. Reynolds’ involvement as a member of the Facing Injustice Project (NAACP) has led her to work closely with museum staff on the development of a number of displays. One display and presentation are planned to coincide with the marker dedication ceremony at the site of the 1901 lynching of George Ward. The presentation: “The George Ward Story: A Lynching in Terre Haute” will take place September 25, 2021, 3:00 pm at the Vigo County Historical Museum. The Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony will be on Sunday, September 26, 2021, 3pm, at Fairbanks Park, in Terre Haute.