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Champaign County African American History Committee


Through the years collections of papers, photographs, documents of individuals, families and organizations of the African-American community have been discarded or lost because there were no local programs to seek out and preserve such materials. Recognizing this fact, the Champaign County African-American History Committee, a volunteer committee under the sponsorship of the Early American Museum and the Champaign Park District, was organized in 1992. The committee works with local organizations and individuals from Champaign County and surrounding areas to help organize and preserve historical records dealing with the African American experience in Champaign County.

The Committee has defined four areas of importance: (1) raising the public consciousness of the diversity and strength of African American contributions to Champaign County's and Illinois' heritage; (2) developing a brochure for the general public; (3) working with curriculum directors of schools to facilitate the integration of Champaign County African American history into the curriculum; and (4) securing space for storage of research materials and artifacts. The Committee publishes a biannual newsletter, Through the Years, which normally features an individual, a family, community group and institution; is involved in an ongoing project of collecting oral histories; and provides an exhibit at the yearly Champaign- Urbana Day for the Park District. The Committee has also provided an exhibit for a week-long event at the Douglass Center'; worked with the UIUC Krannert Art Museum and University High School on a quilting exhibit; and with the Early American Museum in integrating Champaign County African American history into exhibits. Members have also conducted lectures and discussions at local schools.

Committee Members

Mrs. Mary Alexander, Community
Mrs. Carrie Banks, Community
Mr. Roland Brown, St. Luke CME Church
Mrs. Jean Burkholder, Urbana School District
Mr. Nathaniel "Nate" Dixon, Champaign County Park District
Mrs. Linda Duke, UIUC Krannert Art Museum
Mrs. Viktoria Ford, UIUC Krannert Art Museum
Mrs. Doris Hoskins, Community
Mrs. Kathryn Humphrey, Community
Mrs. Cheryl Kennedy, Early American Museum
Mr. Cal Lee, Champaign School District
Mrs. Hattie LeNoir-Price, Parkland College
Mrs. Val Littlefield, UIUC Afro-American Studies & Research Program
Mrs. Cheri Mayberry, Champaign/Urbana Visitors Bureau
Mrs. Barbara McGee, Champaign County Park District
Mrs. Estelle Merrifield, Community
Mrs. Dorothy Moreland, Community
Mrs. CharLotte Nesbitt, Champaign Public Library
Mrs. Hester Suggs, Community
Mrs. Mary Grace Thomas, Community
Mrs. Barbara Wysocki, University High School

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