‘You can’t hide the truth’ - Traveling Black History Mobile Museum visits East Lansing

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 6:23 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - History is often told in a way that favors one side, and there are two sides to every story. One Michigander is telling the story of “being Black” in America, one state at a time. His Black History Mobile Museum stopped in East Lansing Monday.

It’s history so painful, that some people try to ignore it.

“It’s definitely not taught in school,” said Victor Saadiq Muhammad with the Mobile Museum.

That is unless Dr. Khalid el-hakim is your teacher. He started the museum when he was teaching social studies in Detroit. He found that history books contained bias, and white-washed America’s past.

“So for me as a teacher, my way of supplementing that was bringing in primary source material, to address the deficit of having a history that was not inclusive.”

Since then, he’s collected more than 10,000 artifacts, and has traveled to over 40 states to give more than 1,000 presentations.

“It just really took on a life of its own.” said el-Hakim.

He takes the museum wherever it’s requested, and gathers new artifacts along the way.

“I know a lot of the Jim Crowe-related material is from Michigan, as a matter of fact, the Klu Klux Clan material, the majority, if not all of it, is from Michigan.” said el-Hakim.

“You can’t hide the truth,” said Muhammad.

They said understanding one another is the starting point for a more cohesive society.

“Things are not going to change with one conversation or one exhibit, but this has to be an ongoing process. The power of a story transforms lives. It’s liberating,” said el-Hakim.

They hope to keep surprising people with America’s lesser-known history. The pop-up museum will be in Michigan for the rest of the week. You can find dates for the exhibits online, by clicking here.

This Saturday the museum will be in Southfield, with Muhammad Ali’s ex-wife, as a guest speaker.

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