Curator’s Corner

Dear Friends of Acacia,

The Acacia Collection is organized to collect, research, preserve and exhibit selected artifacts created by African Americans, especially those inspired by or related to historic traditions. These artifacts reflect traditions on both sides of the Atlantic revealing the rich and varied cultural legacy of African Americans. In the midst of both oppression and poverty and while adapting to the harsh realities of America, African American people used available materials, creativity, and ingenuity to create their distinctive brand of “a culture making do,” a culture of survival and self-reliance.

Further, the Acacia Collection documents a variety of tools widely used by African Americans in the performance of work – domestic, agricultural, and industrial. Moreover, the Collection with the Judith Wraggs Chase, Louise Alston Graves Old Slave Mart Museum and Library is buttressed by related graphic and documentary items that serve to illuminate the African American experience and its impact on the broader American culture.

I would like to recommend that while visiting that you spend a moment or two to learn the unique history of America’s oldest collection of African-Americana (see full “Greater Acacia Collection” Historical Journey)

Acacia holds that learning to understand a peoples’ history is basic to gaining an appreciation of their culture and contributions. The Acacia Collection is unique in that it marks the beginning of an encyclopedic exploration of African American decorative arts and traditions. This, we believe is a primal element to a broader understanding of the American culture and its diverse sources.

Carroll Greene, Jr.