Stories from the past are waiting to be told as the Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels continues its display today at the Black Cultural Center.
The traveling museum came to UT on Tuesday morning. The museum was brought to UT by creator Angela Jennings, who describes herself as a traveling curator. She has brought together artifacts from the time of American slavery to that of the civil rights movement and all the way up to the present day.
She collects the artifacts to spread awareness and appreciation of the rich culture found throughout African-American history. She does so by opening her exhibit to those eager to hear.
The Sankofa display is more than just expensive antiques and collectibles. It is a collection pulled together by Jennings to include artifacts, photographs, historical documents and stories. Through the effort and handiwork of Jennings, Sankofa weaves together events in history in order to bring African-American history back to life.
Marlon Johnson, a master's student in mental health counseling as well as a graduate adviser for the Black Cultural Programming Committee, explained that the different pieces in the collection each allow for representation of various characteristics of the African-American culture.
"The collection is full of different artifacts that each have presence on where African-Americans are today," Johnson said.
He added that, in order to understand America as a country, students must be able to look at history from all sides. Additionally, by learning through the Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels, students are guaranteed to not get bored.
"I believe every student should take a chance to look at history from different perspectives," Johnson said. "The Museum on Wheels gives a perspective that is fresh and innovative."
The collection takes students on a journey through time, exposing them to real people. Museumgoers do not just take a walk around the room, but instead are taken back to see people throughout the past: how they lived, what they loved and who they were. The Museum on Wheels' ability to be more than just an exhibit is how Jennings opens students to her passion toward diversity.
Students can expect to see many artifacts pertaining to events they have studied throughout their school career; however, Jennings does an excellent job of highlighting the more obscure and unknown events as well.
Mariah Moore, a senior in child and family studies, agrees. Her appreciation and interest in the Sankofa exhibit is more than just a curiosity.
"The Museum is full of artifacts that date back from slavery to the present day," Moore said. "It is a part of American history and we all should be interested in seeing that."
The Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels will continue today from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Black Cultural Center. Jennings will also be available during the visit to lead tours and answer questions.