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African American Museum

Posted on February 21, 2024 by The Drive

In February 2021 Jeremiah “Jody”, our seven-year-old grandson, was assigned to complete a report during Black History month on an African American Hero. He went online and then asked, “Nanu (that’s what our grandchildren call me) don’t you help people with a museum in Michigan?” I said, “Yes, I do.” Then he went on to say, “So, where is the museum I can go to here in Tucson to learn about African American people who lived around here?”

I told him I would look into it and found what I already knew would probably be the case. The history of African American people, particularly around the country, is more like collections of artifacts, hearsay, documents, and things in trunks, garages, basements, and attics. Jody wanted me to know that we should have an official museum in Tucson, and I agreed! So, on April 15, 2021, I began my research.

- Beverly Elliott

The vision of the African American Museum of Southern Arizona (AAMSA) is "To serve as a resource and to provide the community with an applied and virtual venue and repository for stories, histories, and cultural contributions by African Americans and Blacks in Southern Arizona". Museums allow the community to improve its knowledge of the triumphs and progress of the African American and Black experience in spite of the struggles. AAMSAZ plans to engage voices from the past and the present including the youth. AAMSAZ will enable the community to join together and respect the past, honor the present, and pay reverence to the future while engaging and sustaining social action.

Everyone can learn more about African American and Black history and culture of Southern Arizona.

AAMSAZ is located in the student union room 244 on the campus of the University of Arizona. They are devoted to gathering and sharing stories, images and artifacts as they document, digitize and preserve African American and black life, culture and history in southern Arizona.

If you would like to learn more about AAMSAZ for donations or to be involved as a volunteer, simply click HERE for further information.

Tucson’s James Clark interviewed at Fort Lowell Park / 1984 Recording

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