A Visit to the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

A few weeks ago my family and I went to a local museum, The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, whose purpose is to preserve and collect the history of African-Americans from Arkansas. I love learning about history so I love a nice museum. I had been to the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center once before, but I was excited to come back to their latest temporary exhibit, African-American Treasures from the Kinsey Collection.

I learned that the Kinsey Collection is a private collection of African-American artwork and historical documents and artifacts owned by Bernard and Shirley Kinsey. They are generous enough to lend items from their collection to various museums around the United States. You can even see items from their collection in the American Heritage Gallery at Epcot at Walt Disney World until 2018.

Being that the Kinsey Collection is only at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center until Thursday, June 16th. I wanted to make sure that we saw it while it’s in Arkansas. And I’m glad that we took time out to go see the collection because there were a lot of interesting artifacts. My favorite item in the Kinsey Collection was earliest know black marriage license from St. Augustine, FL from 1598.Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Isn’t that amazing to know that black people were legally getting married in the United States in the year 1598?

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

It was also interesting to see a CORE flyer urging people boycott the department store, Woolworth.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Another great item from the Kinsey Collection was Maya Angelou’s typewriter. Maya Angelou spent part of her early years in Arkansas being raised by her grandmother. So it was exciting to a historical artifact from a native Arkansan included in the Kinsey Collection. Plus, I’m a fan of Maya Angelou 🙂

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

I also enjoyed seeing the permanent exhibits again when we visited the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. I love it that the center has done an amazing job documenting Little Rock’s black business district that thrived during the 1940’s and 50’s.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

You can also see reminders of segregation in the permanent exhibits. There were even “White” and “Colored” signs on display. I can’t imagine living in a time where you would see these signs everywhere.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

I also loved visiting the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame exhibit. This exhibit highlights the accomplishments of individuals who have been inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. The late blues singer Johnnie Taylor (my favorite blues singer) is one of those inductees.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Do you like visiting museums?

14 Comments

  • Reply Nerline June 13, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I get excited about everything cultural and historical. I want Maya’s typewriter!
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    • Reply Sonya June 15, 2016 at 3:17 am

      It would be very exciting to own a part of history like Maya’s typewriter 🙂

  • Reply LaKita June 13, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I love learning about history and visiting a good museum as well. The black marriage record is amazing and St. Augustine is such a beautiful place. My parents were HUGE Johnnie Taylor fans so I remember listening to his music all the time growing up.
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    • Reply Sonya June 15, 2016 at 3:12 am

      I want to visit St. Augustine one day I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how beautiful it is. It seemed when I was growing up all my adult relatives loved Johnnie Taylor. In Arkansas, a lot of people listen to the blues on Saturday, so I grew up hearing a lot of blues. But Johnnie Taylor is the only blues artist that I still listen to.

  • Reply Mary June 13, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    What a great and informative trip to the museum Sonya. I’m a huge Maya Angelou fan, I cried when she died, I remember reciting her poems in school for projects and talent shows. She was the only poet I fell in love with as a youngster. She made me proud to be who I am, growing up there weren’t many people of color around, people laughed at us, bullied us and made fun of our culture. Maya made me proud to be the women I was and am today. I hope to make the trip to Arkansas so I can see her typewriter. She changed my life. 🙂

  • Reply Dressed2dNines June 14, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Maya Angelou’s typewriter would be exciting to me! She is an amazing writer 🙂 I love museum’s as well. This exhibit seems very interesting!

    http://www.dressed2dnines.com

    • Reply Sonya June 15, 2016 at 3:07 am

      I was exciting to see Maya Angelou’s typewriter and the exhibit was very interesting. I can’t wait to see what the next temporary exhibit will be 🙂

  • Reply Tamara June 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I love visiting museums.
    I sometimes worry we haven’t progressed much as a nation, but to see those “whites” and “colored” signs makes me so happy we don’t actually see them out and about in the world. I hope we never, ever do.
    Tamara recently posted…We Pop For The Land Before Time.My Profile

    • Reply Sonya June 15, 2016 at 3:05 am

      I hope we never see signs like that again either. I thought we were doing a lot better too, but the amount of support that Donald Trump has worries me.

  • Reply Amila @ Food Corner June 17, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I love visiting such historical places or museums.It is nice to see and read about some moments from black culture.
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    • Reply Sonya June 17, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      Me too, there is so much to learn from knowing about the past.

  • Reply Stacie June 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Museums teach you so much! That would have been a great place to show the family. I love learning about our history.
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  • Reply Louida June 19, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I visited St. Augustine once while passing through going back home to Atlanta. I heard there is a lot of history there. I love going to museums, and learning about our history. I’m always taking my girls there for a fun day of learning. #ProductReviewParty
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  • Reply Erika Bonaldo June 19, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Love museums like this, just steeped in history! #ProductReviewParty #112
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