Story published July 15, 1993 in the Atlanta Constitution “A Man and His Museum”
In 1971 legislation was passed in Florida that mandated the creation of a repository to “serve the state by collecting and preserving source material on and about African Americans from ancient to present times.” Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University became home to that repository.
Dr. James N. Eaton was a history professor at FAMU and embarked on the task of collecting black memorabilia and artifacts.
The pictures news article states that Eaton is standing at a podium once used by Booker T. Washington and other well known African American orators. “Eaton was cruising interstate 95 in Georgia…he was in a truck stop when he saw near the Rebel flags and ceramic Jesus statues a ‘Jolly N****r Bank’…a relic of Jim Crow times.”
The Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum was renamed Meek- Eaton Black Archives after Dr. James N. Eaton’s passing in 2004 🕊
[source: FAMU & Kenan Research Center]
In 1991, Claudine K. Brown visited Atlanta in search of African American artifacts and memorabilia that would go inside a future institution by the name of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Again her visit was in 1991. This article notes that in addition to viewing private collections, Ms. Brown also had plans to visit the Hammonds House, the Alonzo Herndon Home, APEX Museum, and Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. As Project Director, Ms. Brown’s Atlanta visit focused on meeting a deadline to determine if there were enough artifacts to fill a Black History museum. We all know the answer to that question now, don’t we?
A quick Google search reveals that Ms. Claudine K. Brown left the Smithsonian in the 1990s due to the institution’s failure to establish NMAAHC during that time, this shortcoming was influenced by political opposition from former U.S. Senator, the late James Helms, Jr. (NC).
Eventually, NMAAHC would open its doors to the public on September 24, 2016. Ms. Brown passed 5 months prior -March 27, 2016 (aged 67) 🕊
[source: news article on file at Kenan Research Center]
5 pictures captured while exploring “With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith” at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.
The entire exhibition is housed in 4 rooms. Images 1-4 were photographed in the temporary exhibit room labeled the Tommie Smith Archives. Tommie Smith and wife Delois, are said to have amassed and archived thousands of artifacts related to his life and career. The High Museum currently has on display a selection of photographs, news clippings, awards, and other material culture.
The Tommie Smith Archives is dedicated to artifacts while the rest of the exhibit features the work of conceptual artist, Glenn Kaino. Each of Kaino’s designs are inspired by Tommie Smith, the living legend.
Image 1: commemorative item from 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
Image 2: Published letter written by Shirley Graham DuBois, addressed to Tommie Smith. Mrs. DuBois was the wife of W.E.B. DuBois. The letter was printed with her permission in a publication entitled The Black Panther.
Image 3: Track and Field equipment.
Image 4: Tommie Smith achieving a world record title during his time at San Jose State University.
Image 5: The Bridge a conceptual piece created by Glenn Kaino. The 100 foot serpentine bridge is comprised of gold painted casts of Tommie Smith’s arm. There is a great amount of symbolism in this piece including it representing a “path connected to the past that leads forward to the present.”
Madame C.J. Walker Beauty Shoppe Museum/WERD Studio – 54 Hilliard Street Atlanta Georgia
Established in 2000, this site was once home to a Madame CJ Walker beauty shoppe and the first Black owned radio station. Today, the space functions as a museum and a beauty shop
404-518-2887 and firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book your tour, today.