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Today in Lansing: Black History 101 Mobile Museum comes to East Lansing


Black History Mobile Museum

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

East Lansing Public Library

950 Abbot Rd., East Lansing

Click here for event page

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 — A collection of over 7,000 artifacts reflecting African-American life from the days of Jim Crow to Colin Kaepernick comes to East Lansing in a mobile museum.

Founder Khalid el-Hakim started to host exhibits with African-American cultural artifacts in 1995. He acquired most of them at antique shops while on tour managing hip hop group D-12, which included a young Eminem at the time and Proof the rapper. He took his collection on the road across America since 2011.

As a former middle school social studies teacher in Detroit, el-Hakim found class textbooks on African-American history woefully inadequate, which spurred him to redefine how people can learn from the African-American experience.

“Textbooks have a couple paragraphs about slavery then skip to the civil rights movement and it ends there. It is frustrating to spend time supplementing material that should be there,” el-Hakim said.

“As a teacher, I know first-hand how delivering lessons to students can be challenging,” el-Hakim said. “If you are not able to relate to them, you fall short on delivering the content they need to be good students.”

The museums’ current event, “The Signature Series,” specially exhibits the signatures of prominent figures in the African-American community. Highlighted selections include Frederick Douglass, Booker T Washington, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King Jr.,, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks. Huey B Newton, Stokely Carmichael, Chuck D, Eazy E and Serena Williams.

Looking at the artifacts is a transformative experience for most, el-Hakim said.

“The weight of the material is so heavy. We want to be able to have conversations to amplify some of this material," el-Hakim said. "It is a difficult conversation to have. The truth hurts with black history, honesty and healing the racial divide.”

A young white women came through and started crying when she saw the Klan material, el-Hakim said. “What happened was she told me is she sees it every day as her father and grandfather are Klansman and it is in their home.”

There will be a lecture at 1 p.m. given by el-Hakim about why race is so important to talk about in the community.

“It is a blessing to be able to travel the country, share this material and see how valuable this material is.”

For more information, visit www.blackhistorymobilemuseum.com

7 to 10 p.m., Moriarty's Pub, 802 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Stober's Bar, 812 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

7:30 to 9:30 p.m., The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing


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