Museum rolls into RUC

Curator Angela Jennings begins her presentation of the Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels artifacts to a group of 25 students and faculty.The museum was displayed at Tech Feb. 5-6. Photo by Rebecca Franey.

Artifacts from Africa to Black Lives Matter attracted community members to the Tech Pride Room in honor of Black History Month. 

The Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels, which includes artifacts spanning from 1860 to present day made a stop at Tech Wednesday.

Sankofa is an Adinkra symbol from Ghana, which means “to use the wisdom from the past to build the future” or “reach back and fetch.”

            “Let’s take a journey,” curator Angela Jennings said as about 25 visitors gathered behind her for a presentation.

            Jennings walked along the tables that wound through the room and explained the artifacts and history of African-Americans beginning in Africa. 

“Everything concerns African-American history-Africa, the journey, the Middle Passage, slavery, cotton, inventions, the Civil Rights movement, President Obama and Black Lives Matter,” Jennings said.

            Jennings detailed the reasons behind slavery and told stories of famous African-Americans like Frederick Douglas and Sojourner Truth. She also discussed inventions created to make life easier, details of segregation and a black man’s journey to the White House.

            Jennings ended the presentation by speaking as if she was a 5-year-old girl talking to her distant grandparent about his scars and his life as a slave. 

Jennings then took on the role of the grandparent, asking the girl to tell his story at school. Jennings was that girl and she has kept that promise.

“Our history did not begin in chains and will not end in chains,” Jennings said. “You’ve got to know your history.”

Jennings has been travelling the globe for 25 years to inform others on black history and makes appearances at other colleges, museums and festivals.