African American Museum of Iowa
African Americans have an extremely rich and cultured history in the state of Iowa. African Americans have been inhabiting the state before it actually became one. The contributed much to the state in the form of slaves, farmers, troops and obviously still contribute today in a much greater capacity without the restrictions an discriminations. The African American Museum of Iowa was founded in 1994 and is a museum that's dedicated to being the number one source of African American history, heritage, culture and their contribution to the history of Iowa. They have long worked to carry out their mission of "To preserve, publicize and educate the public of the African American heritage and culture of Iowa." It is the leader in African American culture and history and has two exhibits on site. It as museum chapters in 8 communities across Iowa. In 2008 the museum was devastated by a flood and the first floor was completely flooded with over 5 feet of water and caused over $1 million worth of damage.
Backstory and Context
Iowa has long had a rich African American history stretching back centuries ago to 1804 when a slave entered the state with the Lewis and Clark expedition as they were exploring the Louisiana purchase. African Americans have long been involved in all aspects of Iowa including wars, economics as well as education. Dred Scott, whose fight for his freedom resulted in the Dred Scott decision of the United States Supreme Court in 1857, lived in Davenport.
The African American Museum is situated along the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa and has been in business for 20 years. The museum offers a multitude of exhibits, tours, family, kids and educational programs involving the rich history of African Americans in the state of Iowa.
The museum has two large scale exhibits that depict the history and heritage of the African American history in the state of Iowa. Covering anything from the states first slave that was owned by William Clark and took part in the Lewis and Clark expedition, to 2000 different types of artifacts, 70 feet of archives and 200 oral histories, the educational opportunities are endless. It also includes an the Gale Sayers changing exhibit gallery, which displays a new exhibit every year.
The African American Museum of Iowa includes an enormous wealth of African American history in the state of Iowa and is the leading museum in this field in the state. There's been a lot of hard work put in from a lot of different volunteers to make the museum possible - its a must see for any civil rights history buff.