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A new museum in Washington, D.C. delves into narratives that are a part of the history of historically Black colleges and universities, the Washington Business Journal reported.

The HBCU Museum captures the essence of the evolution of HBCUs through artifacts, photos, and mementos donated by graduates of these institutions, the news outlet writes. The museum was founded by Executive Director Terrence Forte and his family. Forte’s parents were graduates of Howard University. The family believed that there was a need to highlight the importance of HBCUs so that individuals could understand that they are more than just higher learning institutions, they are places that drive culture.

When visiting the HBCU Museum, you will come across historic photos taken on the campuses at these colleges as well as artifacts that illustrate different time periods like one of the first copies of EBONY magazine. The museum currently lives in a 638-square-foot space but Forte says that he is looking to expand. He wants to move the HBCU Museum into a bigger space in D.C. and plans on opening up a second location in Atlanta. After opening up those locations, Forte plans on featuring more educational programming which will be led by HBCU graduates.

“The planning for this has been going on for a long time. But [the financial struggles] make it ever so much more important to have it now, so people understand exactly how important HBCUs are not just for the people attending them but for culture in general,” Forte told the Washington Business Journal. “We want to bridge the gap for those who might not know.”

The opening of the HBCU Museum comes nearly a month after PBS premiered its first-feature length documentary on the rise, influence, and evolution of historically Black colleges and universities called Tell Them We Are Rising.


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