EAST LANSING, Mich. — The East Lansing Public Library (ELPL), MSU Black Student Alliance, East Lansing Arts Commission and East Lansing Basketball Club are thrilled to host the Black History 101 Mobile Museum on Wednesday, Jan. 31 in honor of Black History Month.
The exhibit will be available for public view from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at ELPL, 950 Abbot Road. In addition, Khalid el-Hakim – the museum’s founder – will be giving a lecture at 1 p.m. (same date/location). Both events are free and open to the public.
The Black History 101 Mobile Museum is an award-winning collection of more than 7,000 original artifacts of Black History memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave trade era to hip-hop culture. The artifacts have been personally collected by el-Hakim himself over the past 26 years and represent such categories as slavery, politics, Jim Crow, science, religion, education, music, sports and civil rights. The museum has traveled to 28 states and more than 300 institutions, including colleges, K-12 schools, corporations, conferences, libraries, museums, festivals, religious institutions and cultural events.
"It is our wish for the Black History 101 Mobile Museum to be a space in which the artifacts trigger conversations around topics that may be uncomfortable, but are very necessary for the social, political and spiritual growth of our nation at this critical point in time,” said el-Hakim. “It’s only through honest dialogue that we get to know each other's struggles and contributions. Once communication is established, there is an opportunity to work towards deeper understanding and respect for people in our diverse communities. The work of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum is in the spirit of celebrating those historical individuals and organizations who left a legacy of resiliency and resistance, and demonstrated excellence in all levels of society."
“We are so honored to be able to host the Black History 101 Mobile Museum and to have Khalid el-Hakim visit and speak to our community,” said ELPL Director Kristin Shelley. “We encourage community members to stop by the East Lansing Public Library on Jan. 31 for these free, educational community activities. We hope that they will inspire community conversations about race and social justice in America as we kick off a month of Black History Month activities at the library.”
Khalid el-Hakim was recently named one of the 100 Men of Distinction for 2017 by Black Enterprise and is known as the “Schomburg of the hip-hop generation” because of his passionate commitment to carry on the rich tradition of the Black Museum Movement. el-Hakim will be traveling to East Lansing from Detroit for the Jan. 31 events.
These ELPL events were partially funded by grants from the East Lansing Arts Commission, the MSU Black Student Alliance, the East Lansing High School Basketball Club and the Friends of the East Lansing Public Library.