Black history goes mobile

Dennis Osorio

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum featuring, “The 3 M’s: Martin, Motown, and Michael” in honor of the celebration of the Black History Month was hosted for the first time at Cerritos College.

The event took place at the Success Center on Monday Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., allowing students the opportunity to learn about the African-American culture by visually seeing historical artifacts and by listening to the Motown classics of The Temptations, Michael Jackson’s pop classics and hip-hop.

The Black History 101 Museum is a nomadic museum that goes to different states, college campuses, organizations, festivals and so on, to educate people on black history, incorporating relics as a way to provide a tangible visual aid for patrons.

The exhibit was a way to share with people the perspective of the black culture, consisting of a display of artifacts that were shown in chronological historical order, such as; ankle bracelets and whips from slavery in the 1800’s, pictures, signed documents from the slavery era and music albums.

According to Black History 101 Museum founder and curator Khalid el-Hakim, this is “a project that started collecting artifacts 26 years ago,” and that its main purpose is to show the truth of history that has not been told. “Having this type of material should be used as a reminder of the history that has been forgotten or omitted.”

Khalid also shared his beliefs saying that Martin Luther King’s legacy is a reminder of how social injustice should be addressed in our society and that we should reconsider King’s legacy and what it meant to America.

“He would have been standing in the front lines of the Women’s March Movement, the Standing Rock Movement and I think he would be in the front lines of the Black Lives Matter Movement […] and he would be standing in direct opposition against the Trump Administration,” he strongly stated.

Desmond Byrd, journalism major, says that from his own perspective as a black student in general, an event like this is an eye-opener. “We celebrate Black History Month only one month, but we should celebrate it every day we can. This is who we are, this is our culture.”

Hip-hop legend of Public Enemy, lecturer, and speaker Professor Griff said that this item display is used as a teaching tool to elevate the consciousness among college society. To introduce this kind of information to students, “A lot of times students don’t get raw black history, up-close, personal, where they can see it and touch it.”

Professor Griff also said that this is also a reminder for the teachers, counselors, and educators that “this is real,” meaning that one could see and feel the chains that were used to enslave black people and a reminder to the fact that racism in the 21st century is still happening.