Finding Our Roots African American museum to reopen

April 23, 2021 GMT

HOUMA, La. (AP) — After closing to the public about a year ago amid the coronavirus pandemic, Finding Our Roots African American Museum will reopen Saturday in Houma.

The museum will feature a new exhibit called “Blood, Sweat and Tears,” which tells the story of one of the last slave ships, “The Wanderer.” The ship contained more than 400 people who were brought illegally to American shores, some sold into slavery in Terrebonne, Lafourche and St. Mary parishes, The Courier reported.

The exhibit will feature soil collections from plantations in the Houma-Thibodaux area, pictures of slave owners, documentation of those known to be enslaved on numerous plantations and activities for children.

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Museum President and curator Margie Scoby said connecting enslaved ancestors and descendants has been fulfilling and personal.

“Believe it or not, I’m excited because I found out it’s one of my families who was on board,” Scoby said. “It can become overwhelming, but my ancestors drive me.”

Scoby also hopes the exhibit will help others learn about their family’s history.

On Saturday, admission to the museum will be free. Some descendants of those enslaved will attend the unveiling.

The museum will follow safety guidelines to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including wearing masks, social distancing, sanitizing and encouraging people to stay home if they have been around anyone who has recently had COVID-19.

Local author Brenda Young Montgomery will be present with her book, “Mud, Sweat and Tears,” which recounts the story of a slave descendant’s life on the Ardoyne Plantation in Schriever. Members of the descendant’s family will tell their ancestor’s story during Saturday’s opening.

Minister and Christian comedian Pamela Rainey will speak, and a representative from Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s office will attend.