Heritage Towers Museum
Backstory and Context
The Heritage Towers Museum, opened in 2005, to bring life to African American culture. It derives from the roots of African Heritage and expresses the most important components for African Americans in West Virginia. The museum is an exhibit that brings African American culture to life. A 3-D textbook that helps West Virginians grasp the rich and exciting diversity ranging from life in West Africa to the heart of West Virginia, the coal mines.
Some of the intriguing displays are of the heart-wrenching slave auctions and the famous Underground Railroad. There is even a timeline of the civil rights movement that displays events starting in 1950 and ending in the 1990s. The best part of the museum is that it caters to all races and all ages. The displays are strategically placed and created so that they develop a beautiful depth to them, but they are so beautiful and elegant that they capture the eye of even the younger children. It is a gallery that speaks to the souls of African American culture and yet somehow captures the beauty out of the pain of slavery.
There are multiple galleries. The first gallery (A) is about African culture and the craftsmanship of African Kingdoms. Exhibit B is the Village Life, which contributes replicas of Africa village life with things like handmade utensils. Exhibit C and D are dedicated to the Middle Passage and Lost At Sea and they tell the story of the slave trades. Exhibit E is called Slave life and it gives insight on what it was truly like to be a slave, from the houses to auctions. Exhibit F, G, and H are all exemplifying Civil Rights and the beginning of the timeline towards freedom. The last gallery shows visitor how the events have contributed to the lives and families of African Americans in Charleston today.