African American Military History Museum
Backstory and Context
The African American Military History Museum was officially opened in 2009 and is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Museum is housed inside of a historic USO (United Service Organization) Club opened in 1942 for members of the United States segregated army of World War II (African American Military History Museum). The building and its artifacts were restored in 2009 by the City of Hattiesburg, the Neighborhood Association, and the Hattiesburg Convention Commission in order to make it into the world-class museum that it is today (Mississippi Museums Association).
The African American Military History Museum includes exhibits commemorating achievements of African American members of the Armed Forces from the Revolutionary War era through Operation Desert Storm and the Iraqi Freedom Operation. These come in the form of historical documents, photographs, and artifacts. In 2013 a tornado swept through the town of Hattiesburg and caused major damage to the infrastructure of the building and water damage to some of the exhibits. After taking time to rebuild, the museum was reopened in 2014 (African American Military History Museum).
The goal of this museum is to educate people on the significant role African Americans have played in the military history of the United States. The museum is not operated for profit therefore admission is free but donations are accepted and encouraged in order to keep the museum running. Since its opening, the museum has received over 30,000 tourists from all over the world. Many of the exhibits are interactive, which makes the museum particularly attractive to families with children. Today, the building is the only segregated USO club that is functioning and open to the public (Hattiesburg Business Today, 2017).
"African American Military History Museum." African American Military History Museum. Accessed April 14, 2019. http://www.hattiesburguso.com/
"African-American Military History Museum." Mississippi Museums Associations. Accessed April 14, 2019. http://mississippimuseums.org/african-american-military-history-museum/.
"Former USO Club Houses Unique African American Military History Museum." Hattiesburg Business Today. May 17, 2017. Accessed April 14, 2019. http://hattiesburgbusinesstoday.com/2017/05/17/former-uso-club-houses-unique-african-american-military-history-museum/