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Smithsonian to bring black history presentation to ASU

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History is sponsoring a day-long symposium on topics focusing on saving some of history’s treasured items in a town steeped in civil rights history.

“Save Our African American Treasures” is a traveling symposium that has stopped in cities across the country, Smithsonian spokesperson James Gordon says.

During the event, which begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Albany State University’s Student Center, people can bring up to three pieces of African American history and have a consultation with museum experts who hopefully can shed light on artifacts.

Also during the event, presentations will be done on textile and photo preservation.

Gordon says that Smithsonian officials made the decision to come to Albany because of its connection with the civil rights movement and its rich African American history.

“Over the past three years, we have taken this program of education and preservation to nearly a dozen cities across America. We chose southwest Georgia, and Albany specifically, because of its history as a hub of activity during the civil rights and voting rights movements of the 1960s. We are working closely with the SNCC Legacy Project and while this program seeks to preserve objects related to African American history, all are welcome,” he said.

While participants are encouraged to bring in items such as ceramics, cloth dolls, quilts, family Bibles and documents, organizers point out that Saturday’s stop isn’t “Antiques Roadshow,” and the items presented won’t be appraised for monetary value.

The symposium is a joint effort between the Smithsonian, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s Legacy Project and the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc.