Rocky Celebrates Black History Month by Katie Eliason

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Visitors observing the memorabilia at the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. Photo taken by Grace Schroeder

Visitors observing the memorabilia at the Black History 101 Mobile Museum.
Photo taken by Grace Schroeder

Rocky Mountain College celebrated Black History Month on Feb 4 2021 by hosting the Black History 101 Mobile Museum in Fraley Lounge. According to blackhistorymobilemuseum.com, Dr. Khalid el-Hakim is the Founder/CEO of the museum. Tracy Mouser, the coordinator for student activities explains that “over the last thirty years, he has been collecting over seven thousand pieces of Black History memorabilia from the United States.” During this Covid-friendly walk through event, people were allowed to look at, but not touch the memorabilia. Visitors could walk through the exhibition and look at different kinds of Black History memorabilia including magazines, photographs, documents, stamps, and more. Mouser added that the Black History 101 Mobile Museum researches “the institutions that they’re going to and bring certain pieces that they think would fit where we are as an institutional culture.” 

Two hundred pieces from the collection were featured at Rocky. The museum possesses a variety of memorabilia. According to blackhistorymobilemuseum.com, “Among this unique collection are rare artifacts representing categories including (but not limited to) slavery, politics, Jim Crow, science, religion, education, music, sports, and civil rights.” With this diverse collection, visitors are able to view Black history pieces in a unique way.

The event also included a historian lecturer, Richard Griffin, also known as Professor Griff. Regarding the lecture, David Crisp, an English professor at Rocky, wrote, “Griff also invoked the [S]ankofa, a symbol of the idea that we must learn from the past to build a future. ‘Until lions have historians,’ Griff said, citing an African proverb, ‘tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter’.” 

Throughout the event, people were able to become better educated about Black History and when asked to describe the event in two words, RMC student Amberlea Mouser said, “challenging” and “informative.” Another RMC student, Ashton Albright, described it as “eye-opening.”

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum has traveled to many places. According to blackhistorymobilemuseum.com, the “Black History 101 Mobile Museum has visited 40 states sharing ‘ourstory’ at over 500 institutions reaching tens of thousands of visitors in diverse spaces including colleges, K-12 schools, corporations, conferences, libraries, museums, festivals, religious institutions, and cultural events.” From this Mobile Museum, visitors are able to gain a greater understanding of Black history.

Black History Month is defined by History.com as, “an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.” The month of February is a time for all to celebrate the many accomplishments throughout Black history. There is an annual theme and according to History.com, this year’s theme is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” 

This educational event was funded by ASRMC. The event was brought to campus by Rocktivities, Stand Up RMC, and the RMC Diversity Task Force. You can find more information about these groups by visiting rocky.edu. You can learn more about the Black History 101 Mobile Museum by visiting blackhistorymobilemuseum.com.

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