UNF Hosts ‘African-American Museum on Wheels’

Andy Moser

The Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels made its way to the Student Union ballrooms of UNF on Thursday. Students got the chance to attend the museum and learn more about African-American history.

A whip on display. Photo by Andy Moser.

The area was lined with rows of tables, each one carrying pieces of the past. Guided by arrows on the floor, guests made their way through the chronological exhibit. The first row of tables contained paintings, accounts and artifacts from the slavery period, including original whips and chains taken and preserved through history.

The exhibit also featured profiles of famous black historical figures—Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and many more. A transcription of Dr. King’s “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech stood towards the end of one of the rows.

Angela Jennings has been the owner and curator of the museum since 1995, and she’s taken it to about 1,500 universities all over the country.

“I hope that [the students] will learn something about African-American history that they did not know…and take the experience for what it’s worth, and very deeply,” Jennings said.

Attendees are often moved by the exhibit.

“It’s very seldom that I display it and someone doesn’t come to me crying,” Jennings said.

Angela Jennings. Photo by Andy Moser.

Tony Woolbright, Vice President of the UNF Black Student Union, said Jennings was the one who first reached out to the university, with a recommendation from about 20 different colleges.

“At that moment, I knew we had to get her, and my president knew we had to get her,” Woolbright said. He hopes students will walk out of the exhibit with a better understanding of the bigger historical picture.

“If you’re going to talk about history, talk about all of the history. Learn everything. Know everything,” Woolbright said.

The exhibit ended with bits of recent history, which included newspaper articles declaring Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 election when he became America’s first black president.


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