For nearly two decades, organizers of The African American Museum of Bucks County have been working tirelessly to create a permanent home for a museum that could hold the rich history of Bucks County’s African Americans.
On Nov. 23, that vision moved one step closer to reality when the Bucks County Commissioners joined with museum board members to break ground on the museum’s future home at the Boone Farm in Middletown Township.
“I think it’s very important for Bucks County to have this. Bucks County has many wonderful and beautiful museums, but none hold the rich story of its African Americans,” said Linda Salley, in an interview. Salley is the AAMBC’s president and executive director.
The museum will include the history of the Lenape Nation in Bucks, the “safe haven” the county offered slaves with the Underground Railroad and more, as well as its own history of slavery, Salley said. The many diverse accomplishments of Bucks County’s African Americans will be highlighted. “The stories are so rich,” she added.
In order for the nation to grow and become better, Salley said, we must confront “America’s ugly, horrible history. If you’re educated you become a better person, you don’t want to repeat mistakes, but we have to educate our teachers and administrators, as well as students.
“This generation is not a generation of the past. We want to teach a history that is both ugly and beautiful. The message is ‘we’re here, we survived’.”
Throughout the museum’s own history, which began as a caravan of cars traveling to area schools in 2014 and later moved into a “mobile museum” in a van, the mission has always been to have a permanent home.