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Slavery and Civil War Museum (Selma, AL)

Joseph Harris

            On the Selma side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge that is so famous for the march across that Martin Luther King Jr. led, you can find the Slavery and Civil War Museum. The museum itself is not funded by the state, but rather a wealthy African American woman from around the area that did not want to see the history of the historical town wither away. The owner of the museum, as well as those employed by it, is in the stages of having the name changed to “Ancient Egyptian and Enslaved American Museum”. Inside the museum there is a variety of things to be seen.

When you walk through the doors, you enter a room that talks about slavery and how those that were taken from Africa were tricked and taken away from their homelands. To see the chains that they were put into and the distances that they were forced to walk was appalling. The next room we entered was filled with ancient Egyptian clothing and a timeline that explains the back-story behind those that ended up here in America as slaves. The next was an exhibit set up as an auction block, with readings beside, to help you grasp how those auctioned off at the spot were treated. The next room took more of a hold on the Civil War with facts and a time line. 186,000 Africans served in the Civil War and around 38,000 died in service. Though groups of people think that all slaves were forced to fight for the Confederacy, it is proven that they were not. In one area I was able to see a list of those involved in the 137th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry, Alabama name by name. The best part about the museum was being able to grasp an understanding the roles that African Americans played in the Civil War, and the outlook that those from Selma, Alabama have on it.