Weekly Photo Challenge: Names

Perhaps you have heard of The Scottsboro Boys . . But do you know their individual names?
Meet them and learn their story at the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. Simultaneously you can have one foot in the past and the other foot in the present. History is repeating itself.
Individual tributes to each of the nine young men, collectively called The Scottsboro Boys.
Here is a repost from 2014.

OK. Now rewind the clock 80 years. And envision life in the South.
In all of these cases young men were mercilessly falsely accused. Lives were ruined and the course of history shifted forever.
I had the distinct privilege to visit the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. The occasion was the Juneteenth Celebration. The location was Scottsboro, Alabama on Willow Street.
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

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 Location

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.

The  curator.

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.

The impact

On numerous occasions, I have had the privilege of visiting The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, as well as the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. For me, the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center stands on equal footing in terms of richness of history, diligent curators, commitment to keep the story alive. For all four of these museums, when I left the grounds, I became passionate about educating myself and learning more about history and significant people.  I applaud Sheila Washington and her team for their diligence and I look forward to them receiving the positive media attention, the underwriting and the tourism levels that they richly deserve.



7 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Names

  1. Your comment went to my spam folder. You do sound like some of the comments I had to delete, so I came over to check out your blog. Go ahead to send me the link again when you start your travel blessing challenge. I would love to participate.


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