Atlantic City’s African American Heritage Museum is celebrating Black History Month with a loving and artistic look at Africa.
The section of the Noyes Arts Garage in Atlantic City celebrates African-American history all year. But “Back from Mother Africa” is this year’s exhibit for February.
“Here in Atlantic City we have something different,” Ralph E. Hunter Sr. told SNJ Today. “We’re just opening a brand new exhibit here (that) opens for Black History Month.”
Hunter is president and founder of the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey, which has been in Newtonville for 16 years and Atlantic City for four.
The exhibit includes carvings donated by Philadelphia architect Joseph P. Young.
“He donated 10 pieces of wonderful sculpture,” Hunter said. “It’s modern, contemporary art and each piece weighs about 1,000 pounds.”
Along with carvings, the artist spotlights photographs he’s taken during trips to Africa, including West Africa.
The back half of the museum in Atlantic City consists of pieces relating specifically to African-American history in the city itself.
“They have an opportunity to see, feel, smell and touch what African-American history is in American history,” Hunter said. “So, it’s very important to bring your teachers, your churches, your organizations here and we can share the story of the great contributions of African Americans in a very, very positive way.”
Since founding the museum back in 2002, the collection and exhibits have begun to accumulate thanks to donations.
“We started off with about 3,000 (and) now our archives are high in the 11,000[s],” said Hunter. “So, we have many, many different exhibits,” Hunter said. “We’re coming out with at least three or four a year.”
There is no charge for the viewing the exhibits.
“We want to make it free simply because it gives people the opportunity to come and look around, and not really be committed to saying: ‘I don’t have enough money to get into the property,’” Hunter said.
This story was shared with BreakingAC by SNJ Today.