|WASHINGTON, D.C. -- January 26, 2002
honor of Black History Month, February 2002, the Washington
D.C. Temple Visitors Center will host its biggest series of
events ever beginning on Friday, February 1. To
kick-off the events, Jane Clayson and Bryant Gumble's CBS
morning show will originate from the Visitors Center on
Thursday, January 31, the day of the media preview.
proposed core collection of the upcoming National Museum of
African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), will be
unveiled publicly for the first time at the visitors'
center. For the weekend kickoff, special family history
conferences and firesides will be held. The public is
invited to participate. The Center is located at 9900
Stoneybrook Drive in Kensington, Maryland, adjacent to the
Washington D.C. Temple.
The unique collection of African-American artifacts contains
thousands of original images, newspapers and magazines from
the mid-1700s forward which, to date, have not been
catalogued or microfilmed but have been kept in private
hands. They are great historical and genealogical records of
the African-American experience. The collection includes
original slave diaries, slave manifests and the journals of
slave owners and slave masters--none of which has been made
available to the public before.
conjunction with the Friends of the NMAAHC, the Church will
microfilm these treasures on site at the Visitors' Center in
order to preserve them and to make them available to
genealogists and historians around the world.
others on hand for opening day will be Frederick Douglas IV,
James Henson, Sr., (the son of famed Arctic explorer,
Matthew Henson, an African-American) and Darius Gray, the
president of the Genesis Branch of the Church. Genesis is an
officially recognized association of African-American
members of the Church.
following free events will be held to celebrate the
unveiling of the exhibit:
AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE, SATURDAY,
FEB. 2, 2002 -- An all-day African-American Family
History Conference on Saturday, February 2, 2002, from
10:00 am to 4:30 p.m. featuring Frederick Douglass, IV
and prominent African-American genealogists from around
EVENING OF MUSIC AND THE SPOKEN WORD WITH THE GENESIS
GROUP, SATURDAY, FEB. 2, 2002, 7:00 PM -- A fireside (a
meeting with music and the spoken word) and testimony
meeting at 7:00 p.m. the same evening, Saturday,
February 2, 2002 with Darius Gray, Allen Johnson and
African-American Saints from around the United States,
on the Genesis Group, the official association of black
members of the Church.
FIRESIDE ON AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN THE CHURCH, SUNDAY,
FEB. 3, 2002, 7:00 PM -- A fireside on the history of
African-Americans in the Church at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday
evening, February 3, 2002 presented by Darius Gray and
Margaret Young of Genesis, who have just completed a
critically-acclaimed trilogy of books on the subject,
entitled "Standing On The Promises."
addition, on opening day at 7 p.m., Frederick Douglass
IV, the President of the Friends of the NMAAHC and his
wife, B.J., will be featured in a presentation about
Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass was a legendary
speaker, writer, editor, statesman and abolitionist.
Museum's exhibition features 400 years of one-of-a-kind
photographs, books, newspapers, letters, and documents. To
date, private collectors have held these treasures. Some
highlights include the following items:
Haley's original, 1964 journal--with his first notes for
the legendary book, "Roots";
original letter from educator Carter G. Woodson, the
founder of what has become Black History Month;
signed, first-edition of the first book published by an
African-American, Phillis Wheatley, in 1773;
hand-written letter from Frederick Douglass on the death
of abolitionist Sojourner Truth;
original 1840 print depicting the famous mutiny aboard
the Spanish slave ship, L'Amistad;
an original 1890 Kurz & Allison print of the 54th
Massachusetts (Colored) Regiment attacking Fort Wagner;
of the first black newspapers, Frederick Douglass°|
legendary "North Star";
original note from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while in
jail in Alabama;
Haley's original manuscript and notes for
original letter from Malcolm X to Alex Haley.
Visitors' Center will also display a selection of artifacts
from The Church Museum of Art and History in Salt Lake City.
These include photographs, audio and video recordings,
journals and letters of black members of the Church dating
back to 1832.
The collection will be displayed from 10 a.m. through 9 p.m.
each day through Sunday, March 31, 2002. The exhibition and
all related events are free and are open to the public.