An African American Museum and Cultural Center is coming to Eastern Kentucky

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:57 PM EST|Updated: 19 hours ago
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PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Exploring, recovering and preserving the rich history and culture of African Americans in Appalachia is the new Southeast Kentucky African American Museum and Cultural Center and it is coming to the region.

Black History Month celebrates the contributions African Americans have made in this country.

“It something that needs to continue and you know that’s our emphasis,” said Executive Director Emily Jones Hudson.

The new museum and cultural center looks to highlight and share the stories of African Americans in Eastern Kentucky for years to come.

“Just because Black History Month is about over doesn’t mean that we’re going to fold up until next year. No. It’s going to continue. We got to look at our history every day, you know and every month,” she said.

The legacy of Liberty High School being one of those stories -- located in Hazard, it was a designated school for black students from 1937 to 1956.

“The high school was a central hub in the community and you know that’s one of the things, it was a community building,” she said.

The only remembrance left of the school is a memorial wall displaying the names of former students and teachers.

“Our young people need to know about this legacy...our community as a whole, because there’s so many that didn’t know about the history of the school,” she said.

Through this history and other stories waiting to be shared, the museum and center looks to unite the community through the continued education of black history.

“This is not a project to bring conflict. This is a project to bring communication,” said Board Chairperson Steven Jones.

While currently virtual, Hudson says the museum and center website is almost complete and the search for an in-person space is in the works. For more on the museum and center, information can be found on Twitter at @sekyaamcc and Facebook at Southeast Kentucky African-American Museum and Cultural Center, Inc.

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