Recognizing Black History Month - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Recognizing Black History Month

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The African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids offers something new for everyone to learn about American culture for Black History Month.

Right now, the temporary exhibit at the museum is 'Mightier Then the Sword,' which examines history and evolution of African American literature.

It was initially a week dedicated to recognizing black culture, but now it's a month-long observance to educate people about African American history.

It's an exciting time for museum educator, Krystal Gladden.

"It's nice to have a space in an entire month where the entire country is looking back on the importance of diversity and learning about other cultures that may not be their own, and celebrating cultures what has made what is now American culture," Gladden said.

Exhibits are also interactive.

It gives people the chance to not only learn with their ears, but they also learn with their hands and eyes.

"I think it gives people the opportunity to explore a history that's not necessarily mainstream. If you look at textbooks, especially your K-12 education, you don't necessarily seen African American history exposed on the same level, and especially not state and local history," Gladden said.

The museum updated their temporary exhibits and added to their permanent ones.

Gladden said there's something for everyone.

"With a lot of older groups, you have that point of nostalgia, whether it's for better or worse. Some of them remember seeing those colored only signs, and they remember eating at segregated restaurants. Whereas with younger students, especially when you have kids who are 8, 9, 10 and 11; for them their only conscious knowledge of the president of the United States has been seeing an African American family in the white house. So for them, that concept of limited accessibility for African Americans is something they don't grasp with the same gravity as someone who is a little bit older," Gladden said.

Krystal says museum organizers hope to update their temporary exhibit in August.

It will be titled, 'If Objects Could Talk.'

For a complete list of museum events for the next two weeks, you can click here.

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