African American History Culture : Igbo village in Virginia

Discussion in 'African American History Culture' started by dustyelbow, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Oct 25, 2005
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    I really hope its not built solely by "ruthless" white. They already did enough with housing discrimination in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This may be political because they are probably getting some affirmative action ie federal black studies grant in doing this.

    Only considering ruthless "white" RECENT keen interest in African ways of life. In the past they INTENTED to SUPPRESS it any way possible even death.

    African trip examines roots of early Virginians

    The News Leader
    April 17, 2006
    STAUNTON, Va. -- When directors at the Frontier Culture Museum research the origins of American pioneers, they often find clues in dusty barns and the pages of history books.

    But when the museum began preparations for a new exhibit re-creating life in a West African village, they went to a place where the past is still very much alive.

    Eric Bryan, the museum's deputy director, and Ray Wright, coordinator for historic buildings and trades, toured the homeland of the Igbo people of Nigeria last month, during a 21-day excursion into a politically volatile land where few Westerners venture.

    The pair documented the architecture and culture of a region where life has changed little for hundreds of years.

    Along the way, Bryan and Wright forged alliances with government and museum officials and with kings of remote villages, in an effort that at least one African scholar described as groundbreaking and unique among the world's museums.

    "It became apparent that we couldn't do this exhibit any justice without going over there," Wright said, explaining the state's spending $11,000 to send two directors halfway around the world and almost $1 million to construct an African village amid the cabins and frame homes found in the Shenandoah Valley.

    Historians say the Igbo (pronounced E-bo) were the most common African ethnic group in Virginia in the 19th century, and many made their way into the Virginia wilderness as slaves.

    By interpreting the life of the Igbo, the museum hopes to give pre-colonial African history the same treatment as it gives English and German settlements of the same period, Executive Director John Avoli said.

    Disassembling and transporting a village compound from Africa to Staunton is an option for the museum, Wright said, and several potential sites were selected.

    More likely, however, the simple mud and thatched huts, and common tools such as hoes and bowls, will be re-created here.

    No other museum has made such a dedicated attempt to tie African history into the history of the American frontier, said Johnston Akuma-Kalu Njoku, an Igbo who now teaches as an associate professor of folklore at Western Kentucky University.

    Njoku, who accompanied Bryan and Wright to his homeland as a project advisor, said he hoped the new exhibit would lead to an international exchange of students and tourists between Africa and Staunton. The result could be enlightening for both countries.

    "Most Nigerians do not know that we have this many African Americans here," Njoku said.

    Avoli said he hopes the General Assembly will include the $852,000 recommended by former Gov. Mark Warner for the projects.

    Construction can begin as soon as funding is secured, with an expected opening in 2007 or 2008.


    The News Leader is published in Staunton.

    Information from: The Daily News Leader,

    The News Leader | Staunton, VA

    The homepage of, covering the communities of the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
  2. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jun 8, 2004
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    Very interesting article, brother Dusty, but I don't know that I understand your skepticism... If we aren't going to take it upon ourselves to be interested in ourselves, then this project would be, for all intents and purposes, a white thang anyway... Sorry, but that's the only way to look at it...

  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

    Feb 28, 2009
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