Black Belt Museum launches “The Secrets of the Black Belt” window exhibit
The University of West Alabama’s Black Belt Museum has launched its new window exhibit series in downtown Livingston.
Located just north of the Sumter County Courthouse Square and across the street from the Bored Well, the Black Belt Museum is an emerging regional museum currently under construction. The building was once home to Sumter County’s McMillan Bank.
The first floor of the building is anticipated to open by the Summer 2016. The mission of the Museum is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret the landscape and rich history of the Black Belt of Alabama and Mississippi.
“The rotating window exhibit will be a way for the public to engage with the Museum as we work towards opening,” said Dr. Tina Jones, executive director of UWA’s Division of Economic Development and Outreach where the Museum is housed.
The first window exhibit, The Secrets of the Black Belt showcases photographs, textiles, and artifacts from the collections of the Black Belt Museum and the Black Belt Archives representing the history, culture, natural history, folklife, and industry
of the people in the Black Belt region of Alabama. Featured items showcase each unique aspect of our region, individuals can gaze through the window to see a cross section of life, past and present.
“We wanted this first window exhibit to portray the life and heritage of the people in the Black Belt and display a broad range of the Black Belt’s history, including the mosasaur jaw from the Cretaceous period, the end of the Age of the Dinosaur. If you came to the Science Saturday’s Jurassic World event, you got a look at a complete mosasaur skull! ” said paleontologist James Lamb.
The exhibit will be on display through December 15. The Black Belt Museum expresses its appreciation to its co-sponsor, Black Belt Archives and Archivist Amy
Christiansen, Archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dr. Ashley Dumas, AmeriCorps VISTA Emily Boersma and Public Relations Specialist Gena Robbins for their knowledge and creation of the exhibition banners along with the greater staff from the Division of Economic Development and Outreach on UWA’s campus.
For more information on the exhibit or the Black Belt Museum, contact James Lamb at (205) firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian Mast at (205) email@example.com. Find the Black Belt Museum on Facebook and use #blackbeltmuseum on Instagram and Twitter.
From Attics to Archives Workshop
Want to know how to preserve your grandmother’s Bible or other family history documents and history? If so, then you need to attend the Black Belt Archives’ “From Attics To Archives” workshop on Feb. 26!
Click here for information and registration form.
Black Belt Hall of Fame calls for nominations
The University of West Alabama’s Center for the Study of the Black Belt (CSBB) is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Black Belt Hall of Fame induction.
The mission of the Black Belt Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor those associated with the Black Belt who have had a positive impact on the region, the state, the nation, and the world through contributions in art, business, education, industry, medicine, politics, law, and science. Those to be considered for induction may be living or deceased. Inductees must have either been born in the Black Belt, spent a significant amount of time in the Black Belt, and/or had a significant impact on the Black Belt specifically.
“We were pleased to induct Betty Craft Banks, Ruby Pickens Tartt and Dr. Billie Jean Young in 2014,” said Black Belt Archivist Amy Christiansen. The three joined previous inductees, educator Dr. Robert Brown, artist and writer Dorothy Altman “Tut” Riddick, the late paleontologist Josie Winifred “Winnie” McGlamery, the late author Mary Thomas Ward Brown, the late educator and researcher George Washington Carver, the late musician Willie Earl King, the late storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham, educator William James Edwards and folksinger Vera Hall. “There are deserving individuals that have distinguished themselves as significant contributors to and supporters of the culture and people of the Black Belt region,” added Christensen. “We are excited to begin the process of accepting nominations for 2015 in order to recognize more outstanding individuals.”
The Black Belt Hall of Fame nomination form is available online at www.centerforblackbelt.org. The deadline for nomination submissions is Friday, August 29, 2014. For more information, please contact Amy Christiansen at 205-652-3655 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions may also be mailed to the Center for the Study of the Black Belt, UWA Station 45, Livingston, AL, 35470.
Campbell Environmental Educational Center dedicated March 18
The Campbell Environmental Education Center (CEEC) at the University of West Alabama was dedicated on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. on the Livingston campus.
The Campbell Environmental Education Center is home to offices of the Division of Educational Outreach’s Black Belt Museum and Black Belt Garden. In addition, an educational classroom and community meeting room (which is rentable to the public) are located in the building.
The former Campbell-Strickland House was built in southwest Sumter County in 1900 by Robert Campbell and Susan Alice Gully, and housed a family of eleven, including eight children and a local school teacher.
The house is divided into three sections, the left of which held (from back to front) a kitchen, a dining room, the teacher’s quarters, and Mrs. Campbell’s sun parlor where she painted and displayed her artwork. The front porch now extends across the entire length of the front of the house, replacing the sun parlor. However, the original windows that divided the sun parlor from the front room remain. These unusual windows recede into the attic space allowing them to be used as doorways.
The middle section of the house consisted of two large bedrooms that housed the five daughters of the family—Alice, Laura, Betty, Justina, and Sarah—while the right section of the house also consisted of two large bedrooms, the front one being for the family’s three boys (Bob, Slocum, and Wayne) and the back one being for Robert and Susan.
The house, with its white and green paint scheme, looks much like it did when first built. The sun parlor, which was added later, was too badly deteriorated to move. Stairs came off of the front porch in front of each breezeway. Paths from the stairways met at the gate of a long picket fence. The bed that was created by the front porch and pathways was filled with rose bushes and daffodils while the backyard was shaded by pecan trees. The Campbell’s ran a general store, situated nearby, along a road that ran in front of the house.
The house was donated in 2009 to the University by owners Larry and Crystal Strickland of York.
For information on the Campbell Environmental Education Center, please contact UWA’s Center for the Study of the Black Belt in the Division of Educational Outreach at (205) 652-3828.