AFRICAN/AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORICAL MUSEUM


 
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Hana L. Stith, Curator



HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM

The African/African-American Historical Society and Museum grew out of a need to have more African-American input and involvement in preserving and presenting the history of Africans and African-American in the local community and beyond.

Two African American teachers, Hana L. Stith and Miles Edwards, started working with the Allen County Historical Museum in 1975.  They soon realized that the local museum had not preserved African American History.  Therefore, if the history of local African Americans was to be collected, preserved and displayed, they must preserve it themselves.  After 25 years, enough history had been collected, to open an African-American Historical Museum in February 2000.

In May 1999, the African/African-American Historical Society secured a lease on the John Dixie Building, located at 436 East Douglas Avenue in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The 10 year lease was from the Fort Wayne Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.  There was major work to be done on the building.  With the help and donations of individuals, groups, and organizations the museum became a reality.  The first phase of the museum opened on February 1, 2000 and the second phase opened on June 1, 2000.  The museum has ten major exhibits.