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VSU Students, Faculty and Staff to Visit Legacy Museum

On Saturday, Nov. 17, The Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Housing and Residence Life and the African American Studies program is sponsoring a trip to the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.

According to the Legacy Museum’s website, “The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is an engine for education about the legacy of racial inequality and for the truth and reconciliation that leads to real solutions to contemporary problems.”

The museum examines a range of current issues such as mass incarceration and police violence and how it relates to America’s history of racial injustices. The museum does this by using unique technology, rare first person stories of the slave trade and critically acclaimed videos.

The Legacy Museum is not just a museum it is also a memorial. The website explains it as being “the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”

Seeing this memorial is one thing that Dr. Tameka Hobbs, an associate professor of history and the coordinator of the African American studies program, is excited about seeing.

“I am very excited to see the lynching memorial to see the names of the victims I wrote about listed on the memorial,” Dr. Hobbs said, who also wrote a research-based book about lynching and racial violence in Florida. “Students will also be able to see the name of Mary Turner, who was lynched between Lowndes and Brooks County in 1918.”

Hobbs also stated she is “excited for [her] students to be able to deepen their understanding of slavery, Jim Crow and the criminal legal system by visiting this site.”

The Legacy Museum is perfect for that as well because the museum’s website states that the videography and extensive research that is showcased in the museum “helps visitors understand the racial terrorism of lynching and the humiliation of the Jim Crow South.”

When asked about what she hopes students will gain from this trip, Dr. Hobbs said, “[Her] hope is [students and others who go on this trip] understand better the painful history of racialized criminal injustice in our legal system, and are driven to become change agents, in their various fields of endeavor, in the struggle to create equity in our society.”

The museum is located approximately 243 miles away from Valdosta in Montgomery, Alabama, and all students, faculty and staff are eligible to sign up.

It is sponsored by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) of Alabama which is a nonprofit organization devoted to ending social injustices, unfair treatment of people of all races and helping minorities.

The EJI was founded in the late 1980’s by Best-Selling Author and Public Interest Lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, who’s work Dr. Hobbs follows closely.

Photo and Story by Maria Sellers, Staff Writer. 

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