USC Upstate News

Sankofa African American Museum on Wheels Comes to Campus

02- 02- 2010

Spartanburg, S.C. - In honor of Black History Month, the Sankofa African American Museum on Wheels is rolling through the USC Upstate campus February 2 - 4.

Considered to be one of the foremost collections of African American history readily available in the United States, Sankofa will be open for viewing in the CLC Ballroom on Tuesday, February 2 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 3 from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and Thursday, February 4 from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Angela Jennings, a native of South Carolina, established the museum on wheels in 1995 after realizing that her honor student nephew knew very little about the history of African Americans. She set out, traveling throughout the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, West Africa, and Europe to amass a collection of art collectibles and memorabilia that rivals many traditional museums. Nearly twenty years later, the Sankofa African American Museum on Wheels exhibit is a testament to the vast contributions that African Americans have made to this country and to the world.

As a part of the exhibit, Jennings presents stories and dramatizations pertaining to specific periods and historical figures, allowing the audience to "experience" both the pain and pride of the history portrayed. Additionally, she is happy to address individual questions from those viewing the exhibit.

Spanning the period of 1860 to the present, Sankofa takes its audience on a journey through slavery, the era of King Cotton, and the uplifting days of Emancipation. One of the many highlights of the museum on wheels is its unique display of inventions by African Americans. It also tells the stories of such notables as Ida B. Wells, the Negro Baseball League, the Tuskegee Airmen, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Sankofa,” a Ghanaian term, encourages the use of past wisdom to build the future. Angela Jennings and her African American Museum on Wheels epitomizes the meaning of the term by educating, enlightening, and empowering young and old alike with living history.