The Evolution of the Village exhibit begins in Mother Africa, and combines the teachings of history, stewardship of the land, the understanding that we came from a race of princes and warriors and that we are born survivors. It is as an educational opportunity to teach African American children to learn and appreciate their history as others, such as the Jewish community, teach the history of the Holocaust providing countless opportunities for positive peer interaction, and discussion.
The core of this exhibit was created in 2005 with a nod to the Milwaukee Holocaust Museum to recognize our beginnings. Through donations and trips to thrift shops, we have added pieces. Some are representational of their associated periods while we seek authentic pieces.
We want to present an exhibit that is touchable and in environments accessible to the community: Shackles, barrels, wells, iron pots, cotton plants, blacksmith tools for the 19thcentury, wooden telephones, upright typewriter, stove on legs, turntables for the 20th. Many items invented by, or by-products of, African American inventions. We want to show how to trace your family roots through census records and oral histories and give face to history. Connecting the great-grandmother that scrubbed distant floors and raised ‘Masta’s chillun’ leaving her own to raise themselves, with latchkey kids of the 50’s in isolated Bronzeville, and the disconnected children of today.
This project incorporates history, challenges the viewer to read and research.