Exhibit info

A. African Cultures

Appreciate authentic African artifacts that illuminate ancient creative skills of craftsmanship ranging from bronze, stone and wood sculptures to revered ivory ornaments and tapestry embellished in traditional social hierarchy of the African Kingdoms.

B. Village Life

Replica of African hut with a mural of village livestock farm reminiscent of practice dominant prior to introduction of western civilization. Handmade utensils for domestic application of daily living and a Duggan door provide visitors with keen interest, a sense of ornate craftsmanship in African arts.

C. Middle Passage

Thought provoking, tearful and heartbreaking artist impressions of slave trade in Africa encompassing stories leading to the Middle Passage. The infamous Trans-Atlantic trade is a tell tale of tragedies of insurmountable proportion that lasted more than 300 years.

D. Lost At Sea

This gallery incorporated props from the Henrietta Marie slave ship exhibition and new artifacts similar to ones used by European traders during that period. Lost at sea depicts items such as metal currency, shackles, sailors treasure chest/trunk etc.

E. Slave Life

Take a peek into a log cabin replica of a slave quarter and imagine yourself on display on a wooden platform auction block used here as an illustration of life in bondage for African Americans thru 1861. Before emancipation, human auctions in North America were commonplace and “Auction Blocks” served the purpose.

F. Jim Crow/Civil Rights

Experience the museum UNISEX restroom facilities. A reminder of the Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Era. The struggle for equality has come a long way at a high price. When in doubt, this exhibit will get your attention.

G. The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad is famous for its’ fugitive slave activity spanning several decades. Trace West Virginia’s missing link to the port cities of Parkersburg and Huntington along the Ohio River. Harriet Tubman, though not from West Virginia, was instrumental in facilitating this operation.

H. African American Coal Miners

Entertain memories of Black Coal Miners in Appalachia mountains West Virginia. On display are equipments used by miners dating back to the days of carbide lit headlamps. African American miners often endured very harsh working conditions. See pictures of coal camps and shift crews sometimes predominantly black.

I. West Virginia Thru Time

Discover the enchanting West Virginia African American timeline. Chronologically presented are major events and contributions that impacted the lives of black people through to the 21st Century.