History to You is the brainchild of Curator Mack Williams, III, a historian that has been collecting artifacts relating to African-American history for nearly a decade. What began as a passion for collecting expanded into a desire to share the experience of these artifacts along with the history behind them with the community of the St. Louis area and beyond.
The goal of History To You is to provide an interactive experience for students and members of the community that will make learning about history more interesting and aid in its retention.
How does History To You make learning about history more interesting? By combining audio/visual presentations that are both entertaining and informative with the opportunity for participants to interact with actual historical artifacts and items representing the time period(s) they are studying! Participants will be engaged by this interactive experience that goes beyond any textbook, tablet, or documentary - all without having to leave the room! Adding History To You as a supplement to your school's History curriculum will help foster student discussion and add context to the week's lessons. Adding a History to You course/lecture series to your company or organization’s function will enrich your event with a unique, hands on cultural experience!
Imagine that as students are learning about life for African-Americans in the pre-Civil War South, that they are able to actually hold shackles, slave buttons, and other items that represent that period! As they are learning about Booker T. Washington, students can hold one of his hand-signed letters or one of several first edition copies of his works. Frederick Douglass? Students can hold first edition copies of his autobiographies while seeing in person a land deed signed by Douglass himself! Each artifact has a story of its own, that helps to make history more palatable by looking at how larger historical events were experienced by and seen through the lens of both famous and everyday individuals from the time period the students are studying.
Imagine your organization’s Black History Month program having actual artifacts for participants to experience firsthand – with a lecturer on hand to provide insight, answer questions, and guide possible discussions/forums. But beyond February, the types of discussions of preservation of cultural heritage and efforts to increase cultural awareness through education are needed every day – and History to You can provide the artifacts and help stimulate positive dialogue.
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