Victor Valley Museum: New Exhibit “Footsteps To You” Opening and Reception May 2

Apple Valley, CA – Victor Valley Museum is proud to present the exhibit Footsteps to You: Chattel Slavery. The exhibit, curated and hosted by the Black Voice Foundation brings together a collection of documents and artifacts that were bequeathed to the Foundation by the estate of historian Jerry Gore in 2016. The exhibit opens on May 2 with an evening reception and closes August 4.

The Gore Collection of documents and artifacts helps visitors to understand and explore the institution of slavery in America. It illuminates more than 200 years’ worth of abuses inflicted on people of color, and helps visitors appreciate the courage and strength that enslaved men, women, and children had to possess in order to endure, overcome, and fight against the physical and psychological terrors of forced servitude. The exhibit invites visitors to build and experience the same historical empathy by immersing them in a world where people were considered objects – a prejudice that was entirely based on the color of one’s skin. Visitors will learn that these injustices not only affected those who were actively oppressed, but that slavery’s lingering effects have haunted people even decades after it was abolished. Visitors are challenged to ask themselves “What side of history would I have been on?”

Jerry Gore’s lifelong goal was to expose the horrors of slavery so that visitors to his hometown of Maysville, Kentucky could appreciate the daily perils experienced by enslaved people as well as the strength it required to fight for their freedom. This exhibit presents the unique artifacts collected by Gore in his effort to build historical empathy, a means of achieving a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of people from the past. First-person accounts, newspaper articles, and original objects of the slave trade serve to put the viewer in the shoes of those that were subjected to this treatment.

According to Hardy Brown II, chairman of the Black Voice Foundation, “Footsteps to You immerses the visitor in a world where people were considered objects – a prejudice that was entirely based on the color of one’s skin. Visitors will learn that these injustices not only affected those who were actively oppressed, but that slavery’s lingering effects have haunted people even decades after it was abolished. Visitors are challenged to ask themselves ‘What side of history would I have been on?’”

The Black Voice Foundation originally connected with Jerry Gore through their “Footsteps to Freedom” tour. Since 1996, the Foundation has hosted over 2,200 educators on the Footsteps to Freedom, Underground Railroad Tour where they have walked the steps of past enslaved freedom seekers. These tours strive to build historical empathy amongst participants by learning first-hand about the incredible courage of the people who sought freedom or who helped others achieve it along one of the central routes of the Underground Railroad, Kentucky to Canada.

May 2 EXHIBIT OPENING RECEPTION PROGRAM:

  • 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Social Hour
  • 6:30 p.m. Welcome – Diana Alexander
, Deputy Executive Officer, Community Services Group, San Bernardino County
  • 6:40 p.m. Special Remarks – Supervisor Robert Lovingood,
First District, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors
  • 6:45 p.m. – 6:55 p.m. Footsteps to Freedom Presentation, Hardy Brown II, Chairman, Black Voice Foundation
  • Closing Remarks: David Myers, 
Curator of Visitor Engagement and Exhibits, San Bernardino County Museum and Ashley Lothyan,
 Public Engagement Coordinator, Victor Valley Museum
  • 700 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Immediately following program presentation, a guided tour of Footsteps to You with Hardy Brown II

Tickets: Footsteps Exhibit

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