African masks made of assorted materials and artifacts that tell of a time long ago are now on display at the African American Enslavement and Civil War Museum. These artifacts can be found in the new exhibit of The Brown Estate Art Collection that just arrived at the museum, and there are 36 pieces total that boast in the ancient history. The Brown Estate Art Collection, from Miami, Fla. was donated to the AAECM in May and just arrived in October. In the collection are ceremonial figures, headdresses, carved and painted shields, two-headed reptile tables, many masks and musical medicinal devices such as a Bocan Mali drum. -- Ashley Johnson

Museum to unveil new exhibit Sunday afternoon

Published 12:54am Friday, October 26, 2012

African masks made of assorted materials and artifacts that tell of a time long ago are now on display at the African American Enslavement and Civil War Museum. These artifacts can be found in the new exhibit of The Brown Estate Art Collection that just arrived at the museum, and there are 36 pieces total that boast in the ancient history.

The Brown Estate Art Collection, from Miami, Fla. was donated to the AAECM in May and just arrived in October. In the collection are ceremonial figures, headdresses, carved and painted shields, two-headed reptile tables, many masks and musical medicinal devices such as a Bocan Mali drum.

The center of the exhibit is a 7-foot tall, carved tribal king statue and the whole collection was put together in the museum by volunteer and arts educator Sister Yomi Goodall.

“It’s a continuation of the story of our history; it’s other pieces to that missing puzzle,” Goodall said. “There are many American people and children in particular of today that don’t know our history.”

She also explained that part of the collection includes Polynesian art and artifacts in addition to the tribal pieces from West Africa. A 7-foot tall hand carved statue, which is a Polynesian piece, looks like something from the movie, “Night at the Museum.”

The museum, operated by Faya Rose Toure Sanders on Water Avenue, is focused around the history of African Americans from the beginning of time up to the present, Sanders said.

“The tour begins in a room dedicated to ancient Egypt because most children, black children and white children, do not understand that African Americans were some of the first mathematicians,” she said.

After the Egyptian focus, the story the museum tells shifts to exhibits about slavery, journeys on a slave ship and even an educational display about lynching.

“But we didn’t want the museum tour to end with that,” Sanders said.

It ends on a more positive note according to Sanders in returning to traditional African roots and showing the glory in ancient Africa. That is where the new exhibit comes into play. According to Goodall, it takes viewers back to the origins of Africans before they were enslaved in America.

The grand opening for the exhibit will be Sunday, Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served and admission is free for all and open to the public.

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