Adult Education and an African American History Museum

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Museums in the United States have historical significance, which adult educators are beginning to study. Receiving less attention to date, however, is the work of African American history museums. This descriptive case study sought to gain an understanding of the adult education work in one African American history museum - The Calaboose: The Johnnie Armstead African American history museum in San Marcos, TX. Using an Africentric lens, observations, and formal interview and video footage, this study illuminated the founder/educator’s motivations, sense of social responsibility and belief in the power of storytelling to teach problematic racial histories. Problematically, this work is somewhat disconnected from the powerful Black Lives Matter movement, and therefore is more limited in its contributions to current struggle for racial justice in the US. However, as a space of strong anti-racist adult education the work is vitally important and needs greater visibility.

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