My Mothers Fort: A Photographic Tribute to Fort DesMoines, First Home of the Womans Army Corps

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She regularly speaks at museums, schools and libraries about her publications. When not teaching or writing, Dr. Blake serves as an advocate for veterans, defending their legacies from the encroachment of revisionist historians. In recognition of her support of veterans, she was awarded the Honorary Purple Heart from the Illinois Order of the Purple Heart in Are you an author?

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Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central. Previous page. Next page. There's a problem loading this menu right now. The museums are maintained by the Montgomery County Historical Society. You'll find historical and visitor information at their website. The history of this museum is repeated around the country: In , two African American teachers, Hana Stith and Miles Edwards, started working with the Allen County Historical Museum and soon realized that the local museum had not preserved African American History.

So, they decided to take matters into their own hands, forming the African American Historical Association to collect, preserve and display the artifacts of black heritage. Twenty-five years later that dream became a reality in with the opening of the African American Historical Museum. By they had 10 small exhibits and are still developing. Learn more about the museum's history and future plans at their website. Levi and Catharine Coffin were legendary in helping many former slaves escape to freedom in the North.

They used this home in Indiana to help more than escaping slaves before moving to Cincinnati in order to serve the cause of the Underground Railroad even more effectively.

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The website provides visitor resources as well as historical information and many useful links. Indianapolis- Bethel A. Bethel A. E is the oldest African American church in Indianapolis. This link takes you to the historical information page at the National Park Service, but if you want to know what members are up to today, you'll also find them on Facebook. Indianapolis - Crispus Attucks Museum. Housed in the first African American high school in Indianapolis, this four-gallery museum celebrates the contributions of African Americans across the United States.

Freetown Village is a living history museum which depicts the lives and lifestyles of free African Americans in the year The geographical focus is in the old Fourth Ward, the oldest African American settlement in Indianapolis. One unique special event is the Freetown Dinner which "takes you back to taste first-hand a slice or two of the lives of African Americans. Madame Walker , the first self-made female millionare in America, began the development of the Walker Building and Theatre prior to her death in The project was subsequently completed by her daughter, A'Lelia Walker, and opened to the public in December Today it serves as a forum for arts and culture from an African American perspective.

At the website you'll find a calendar of events and productions, visitor information, history and more. A repository of materials covering musical idioms and cultural expressions from the post-World War II era. The AAAMC supports the research of scholars, students, and the general public from around the world by providing access to oral histories, photographs, musical and print manuscripts, audio and video recordings, and educational broadcast programs, among other holdings. In addition to visitor information, events and news, you'll find a wealth of resources at their website.

I owa. The permanant exhibit offers a fascinating overview of the history of African Americans in the United States with specific focus on Iowa. The website provides a virtual tour, as well as visitor information, events calendar, educational opportunities and more. The website also has an appeal to "packrats" to provide materials for the growing collection.

First Mothers: The Women Who Shaped the Presidents

Check their Facebook page for updates. Fort Des Moines was the site of the U. Army's first and only officer candidate class for African American men, graduating men as commissioned officers in Highly educated doctors, lawyers and teachers were among the ranks. That program trained 72, women and commissioned the first female officers for non-combat duty until The museum and education center honors both, and also has a memorial honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, who were trained at Moton Field in Tuskegee Alabama Iowa had twelve graduate airmen.

The content rich website provides histories, photo gallery, graduates of the 17th Provisional Training Regiment graduates of the first WAAC OCS , events, visitor information and much more. I only had 30 minutes to explore this museum while on a lunch break and quickly realized I needed much more to do it any justice, so plan at least 90 minutes for your visit.

I was fortunate to receive an overview from Michael Kates, the Education Coordinator. All of the exhibits go far beyond simply displaying artifacts of the period It's sobering to realize how hard African Americans worked to be permitted to protect their country, at a time when their country wasn't protecting even their most basic civil rights. The museum is located in Clayton Hall built in and restored in I encourage you to pause for a bit on the porch after your tour Been There!


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Patten, who operated a Des Moines printing business serving the African-American community from the s through the s. Patten had saved many of the items he printed, from tickets and posters to party invitations and family portraits, intending to one day open a museum. In this small permanent exhibit, the items are supplemented by newspaper images and text, providing a glimpse into the social world of African Americans in Des Moines.

By nature, this exhibit contains a lot of text, but "Discovery Drawers" help make it more accessible to children I saw many school kids eagerly exploring those drawers during my visit! My only criticism is the exhibit didn't address the demise of the neighborhood which - like so many black communities across America - was divided and destroyed by so-called "urban renewal" in general and the interstate highway system in particular.

This stately Victorian home served as a station on the Underground Railroad. It is now home to the West Des Moines Historical Society, and houses an Underground Railroad exhibit in addition to other exhibits on local history. The website provides a history of the house, visitor information and special events.

In , having been refused admission at colleges in Missouri and Kansas due to his race, George Washington Carver attended Simpson College in Indianola. The museum's Carver exhibit includes the shack where he lived and ran a one-man laundry to support himself while a student. This house was a station on the Underground Railroad and preserves that heritage through exhibits and special programs. Designated a National Historic Landmark in Lewis - Nishnabotna Ferry House. This is a rare surviving ferry keeper's home. The cable ferry in operation was purportedly used by fugitive slaves and the Underground Railroad.

Salem - Lewelling House and Quaker Museum. Henderson Lewelling built this house as a refuge for fugitive slaves travelling the Underground Railroad. Exhibits and artifacts recall those times. Built in , this reverend's parsonage was a stop on the Underground Railroad and an arsenal for anti-slavery forces. Open by appointment. Michigan Freedom Trail. This heritage of the Underground Railroad UGRR and the antislavery movement in Michigan is as rich and multifaceted as our state's heritage of the Great Lakes, the automobile and lighthouses. Adrian - Lenawee County Historical Museum.

Elizabeth Chandler and Laura Haviland launched Michigan's first antislavery society in Adrian in the early 's. The museum has exhibits about the Underground Railroad, and also other aspect of black history in the community. At the website you'll find visitor information and historical articles. This organization was founded in to promote the history, culture, and concerns of African Americans in Washtenaw County. The rich website provides area history, news, events, plus business and organizations.

Also learn about plans to create a permenant home for the African American Cultural and Historical Museum. Sojourner Truth bought a home in the community of Battle Creek in the late 's, and stayed until midway through the Civil War when she temporarily relocated to Washington D. She died in her home in Battle Creek in , and is buried with family members in Oak Hill Cemetery.

This website provides visitor information for the Sojourner Truth Monument Park, dedicated in , and also virtual exhibitions featuring history, artifacts and more. Division Street. Home to three generations of doctors, the Kimball House is now a museum providing insight into upper-middle class life in 19th Century Battle Creek.

The Sojourner Truth Exhibit Room contains one of the largest collections of images and artifacts about the nationally famous ex-slave abolition leader in the country, including her only known signature. This website seems to be a work in progress, as some of the main links don't yet function, so I recommend you call directly for visitor information at or The area, long erased from the city's social geography, has been forgotten by many Battle Creekers.

Yet for nearly forty years, the Bottoms was the heart of Battle Creek's African-American community, anchored by places like the Hamblin Community Center. For those who grew up there, the neighborhood's rich cultural history live on in photographs, artifacts, stories, and memories. Founded and curated by David Pilgirm - who began collecting racist memorabilia as a teenager - the museum collects, exhibits and preserves objects and collections related to racial segregation, civil rights and anti-Black caricatures in order to promote the scholarly examination of historical and contemporary expressions of racism.

Even if you cannot visit the museum, you'll find a wealth of images and information online. In the museum relocated to a gleaming new exhibit hall on campus. For example, in , William Perry became the first black man hired at the Ford Motor Company - on the strength of his personal relationship with Henry Ford.

Perry and Ford had met over a 3 decades earlier, when the young Ford hired Perry to help him cut and saw wood on the timberland given to him by his father. Impressed by Perry's industriousness, in later years, Ford used the metaphor of sharing a crosscut saw to explain his belief that African Americans and whites should work together with "the colored man [sawing] at one end of the log and the white man at the other.

The Village and Museum have been collecting, preserving and interpreting American heritage since the 's. Morgan inventor of the first traffic light. Special events and exhibitions highlight various aspects of African American heritage. The rich website has photo collections, visitor information and more. Detroit has been designated the first authenticated African American Heritage Destination in the world by the Travel Professionals of Color.

This organization promotes training, networking and support of minority travel professionals. Use the Search box at their website for tour info and more. Detroit - Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Founded in by Dr. Charles Wright, an obstetrician and gynecologist, the museum exists to serve Metropolitan Detroit and national communities by providing exceptional exhibitions and programs based on outstanding collections and research that explore the diversity of African American history and culture. It features both permanent and special exhibitions, and the current "third generation" museum located in Detroit's Cultural Center is a , square foot state-of-the-art facility, the largest museum in the world dedicated to the struggles and perseverance of African Americans.

Artifacts range from a cradle used by slave mothers in the fields to the NASA flight suit worn by astronaut Dr. Mae Jamieson, You'll find visitor information, events calendar, a wealth of educational resources and more at the website. Explore Detroit's role in the Underground Railroad, walk the streets of Old Detroit, learn about how cars built Detroit and Detroit built cars, or view special exhibitions on a wide variety of topics. Visitor information, event and exhibit calendars, plus educational resources you can download from the Learning Center are found at this rich website.

The DIA's African art collection ranks among the finest in the United States and comprises some rare world-class works from nearly one hundred African cultures, predominantly from regions south of the Sahara desert. Additionally, the museum houses the General Motors Center for African American Art, one of the first curatorial departments dedicated solely to African American art at any major art museum. The Center actively pursues acquisitions and plans exhibitions of the museum's growing permanent collection of African American art. Williams and Hale A.

At this rich website you'll find visitor information, events and exhibition calendars, educational programs, and you can also view works of art online. The E. Azalia Hackley Collection of Negro Music, Dance and Drama was established in when original materials were presented to the Library by the Detroit Musicians Association to serve as the nucleus for a special black music collection.

Named after a Detroit music educator and performer, the collection quickly broadened its scope to include dance, drama and other forms of the performing arts. The collection is open to serious researchers, and some of it is also available online. You can find out about related special events at their website. Detroit - First Congregational Church of Detroit. As one of the national forerunners in the Anti-slavery movement, the Congregational Church has a rich history in the Underground Railroad nationally.

The lower level of the Church features an Underground Railroad Tour in which visitors have an opportunity to re-enact the roles of escaping slaves. Tour is by reservation only, and you can find more information at the website.