South Ga. museum encourages community to visit during Black History Month
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The Copeland African American Museum’s collection spans more than 150 years of history and features more than 75 pieces.
In honor of Black History Month, they’re expanding their hours so you can enjoy it before it changes.
In 1989, Cheryl Copeland surprised her husband, Roy Copeland, with a set of autographed Muhammad Ali boxing gloves for Christmas.
After that, she continued to select unique pieces of history for him every year.
Soon, the couple began collecting even more African-American history memorabilia at live auctions, online auctions, garage sales and more.
“Just very informational things, they try to select items and people who most aren’t of use to. We always learn about Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech or Madam TJ Walker, but we wanted to ensure we highlighted people in their achievements that are little known,” said TaMara Tolbert, who works at the museum.
Tolbert said the current exhibit houses about a third of the total collection.
“The next plan is to get as much people as we can to come through, especially during Black History Month. Just to enrich our lives, enrich our knowledge of all the wonderful things that the people that are highlighted have done,” said Tolbert.
The current exhibit opened in the beginning of 2020 and then the pandemic hit.
The university was closed for a while and then there was low foot traffic.
Tolbert encourages everyone to visit before the next rotation of items in March.
“I think it is very important, not only for myself as a student but for other students as well. Other faculty and staff, people that aren’t of color to be able to see our achievements,” said Tolbert.
Tolbert said there are not many museums specifically for African-American culture, so it’s a good learning opportunity.
If you would like to visit the museum, admission is free.
It is located on the second floor of Thaxton Hall at Valdosta State University’s North Campus, at the intersection of Pendleton Drive and Patterson Street.
It’s open every day, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
On Fridays, it closes at 1 p.m.
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