Save Our African American Treasures – Los Angeles

Are you going to be in the Los Angeles area this weekend?  Then you might want to check out the Save Our African American Treasures event sponsored by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Information about the event is below.

Have you ever wondered about the best way to preserve your family photo albums, dolls, quilts, wedding dresses and other heirlooms sitting in your attic or basement so they will last for future generations to enjoy?

If you live in the Los Angeles area, please join the National Museum of African American History and Culture this Saturday for day full of hands-on workshops that will teach you how to protect your family history. The event is in collaboration with the Japanese American National Museum and the California African American Museum.

Save Our African American Treasures – Los Angeles

Saturday, July 12, 2008

10AM to 4:30PM

Japanese American National Museum

369 East First Street

Los Angeles, CA

There will even be an opportunity for you to bring your items to be specially reviewed by a professional. Space for the individual item review is limited though, so please RSVP today by emailing rsvpnmaahc@si.edu or calling 1-888-249-8033. Furniture, art, rugs/carpets, or objects larger than a shopping bag will not be reviewed.

For a full schedule of all the day’s events, visit our website.

We hope to see you there!

A note to our AAHGS California members — if you do attend this event, why not submit a review to the AAHGS News and tell us about it?  What did you like best?  least?  What was the most interesting to you?  Did you discover anything new about your family heirlooms or learn a new technique on preservation that you would like to share?  Send your thoughts to aahgsnews@yahoo.com and let us know how it went. 

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Boston’s “Freedom’s Trial” Tour Focuses on 19th Century African American Community

I’m a little bit late reporting on this one due to a vacation absence but if you are going to be in Boston for the Fourth of July festivities, the African American National Historic Site [(617) 742-5415] is holding three 90 minute walking tours of significant black historical sites in Boston.  The tour begins at Faneuil Hall and through downtown Boston and Beacon Hill.  Topics include “…education, suffrage, and religious worship.  Stops include the site of abolitionist Prince Hall’s Freemason lodge for blacks and the spot where William Lloyd Garrison gave a resounding anti-slavery speech.” 

There are only two times remaining for this specialized tour (the third was June 30th):  July 2nd and July 4th.  Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 617-742-5415.  Both tours start at 11a.m.  They are led by Horace Seldon who taught for 26 years at Boston College on the history of racism in the United States. 

link:  http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/06/29/walking_tour_eyes_black_struggle/

Black Historical Society of San Diego has New Building

The San Diego Union Tribune reports on the opening of a new museum and genealogical research center in downtown San Diego, known as the “Harlem of the West” in its heyday.  Here’s the story by Jeanette Steele, staff writer: 

DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO – The Black Historical Society of San Diego, founded more than a decade ago to fight the demolition of important properties, now has its own place downtown.

Today, the group will dedicate a museum, genealogical research center and gift shop in downtown’s East Village. The venue opens to the public on Saturday.

It’s located in the heart of a once-thriving black business district, with residential hotels, stores and clubs that featured major musical acts such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington in the 1930s to 1950s. Some called it the “Harlem of the West” in its heyday.

The area, along Market Street between the Gaslamp Quarter and Barrio Logan, later fell on hard times and is now gentrifying into a neighborhood of high-rise condominiums.

The museum will offer a permanent exhibit on the history of African-Americans in San Diego, with photos of black merchants, families and social life since the late 1880s, including artifacts such as war medals, clothing and dishes. The museum plans to host traveling exhibits, with the first starting in August.

Museum of San Diego
African American History Where: 740 Market St., in downtown San Diego

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, starting Saturday

General admission: $5. For genealogical research only, there’s a suggested donation of $3

Info: blackhistoricalsociety.org or (619) 232-1480

To read the full article, click on this link:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20080625-9999-1m25history.html

Louisiana Opens a New Trail of African American History

Louisiana tourism officials have unveiled the first 26 sites on an African American Heritage Trail running from New Orleans to northern Louisiana.  The trail tells the stories of African Americans who have made contributions to Louisiana and America.  Along with the usual sites of plantations showcasing details of slave’s lives and the Louisiana’s early jazz roots, there is also an opportunity to visit the Melrose Plantation — the home of Coincoin and the Metoyer family.  You may recognize those names from Elizabeth Shown Mills’ book Isle of Canes

Other sites include the boyhood home of Arna Bontemps now the Arna Bontemps African American Heritage Museum; Evergreen Plantation – on the National Register of Historic Places – located in Wallace with 37 buildings and 22 slave cabins; the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University that contains the largest collection of manuscripts in the world about African Americans, race relations, and civil rights; and several cemeteries where you can visit the graves of gospel vocalist Mahalia Jackson, “voodoo queen” Marie Laveau, and Homer Plessy made famous through the Supereme Court Case Plessy v. Ferguson for his refusal to move from the “white” section of a railroad car in 1896 resulting in a court ruling that upheld states’ rights to forcibly segregate people of different races. 

The link for information on Louisiana’s African American Heritage Trail with interactive map is:

http://louisianatravel.com/explore/cultural%5Fhistory/african%5Famerican%5Fheritage%5Ftrail/

An article in the New York Times regarding the trail can be found here:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/travel/25trail.html?scp=4&sq=Louisiana&st=nyt