Recently the African American Museum of Iowa was awarded a grant from the Linn County Historic Preservation Commission to collect and preserve oral histories related to the civil rights movement in Linn County. This project, “Saving Iowa’s Civil Rights Stories” is enabling the museum to capture the stories of black Iowans and their experiences with segregation, discrimination, and the Civil Rights Movement on the home front as well as participation in the Civil Rights Movement on the national front.
With many important civil rights anniversaries occurring this decade and as we continually lose individuals who were active in the movement, the museum felt it was important and pertinent to collect their stories now before they become lost forever.
The oral histories collected through this project will become part of the museum’s permanent collection, to be preserved in perpetuity for the benefit and education of present and future generations of Iowans. Our ultimate goal is to incorporate these stories into the museum website for public access as well as through our exhibits and educational programs.