On its website, the museum posts its mission statement:
The Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center commemorates the lives and legacy of nine young African Americans who, in the 1930s, became international symbols of race-based injustice in the American South, and celebrates the positive actions of those of all colors, creeds and origins who have taken a stand against the tyranny of racial oppression. We are committed to advancing reconciliation and healing, and promoting civil rights and an appreciation of cultural diversity worldwide.
The museum is a riveting tribute to the nine young men whose lives were ripped apart on a train ride from Tennessee to Alabama. Artifacts, photographs, documents, newspaper clippings, courtroom testimonies are abundant. For the historians it is a wellspring. For students it is a walk through history. For passersby it is a jolting reminder that the past is not too far away from the present.
It is not only a tribute to the young men as a collective group but also to each young man as an individual. Also in the museum are exonerations and resolutions which restored their good names decades after the incident.
The museum is located in the former Joyce United Methodist church. Apparently this is the precise location where 1930s prayer vigils were held and certain individuals connected with the trial were positioned.
For me, the most valuable part of the museum is its curator and founder, Sheila Washington. I am so blessed to be in Shelia’s presence. She has fought tirelessly for decades to see the museum come to fruition. For every artifact, for every photograph, for every document for every square inch of the museum, Sheila has a story. I could listen to her recount details endlessly. See her story here on YouTube.