STRATFORD, Conn. — The Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American History Museum in Stratford, Conn. is the first of its kind in the state. The goal is to have an immersive experience that tells history through Black experiences.
Since its opening day on 952 East Broadway in October 2021, executive director Jeffrey Fletcher said the museum has been booked and busy.
"4,535 people have visited this museum," said Fletcher. "Everywhere from Connecticut, New England, and the tri-state."
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Fletcher explained that the museum shares America's history through the Black experience and walks people through untold, overlooked, or forgotten history.
"They get a first-hand experience of being immersed in this type of history," Fletcher said.
It's a cultural and historical experience that takes people on a journey starting in 1619, venturing through American slavery into the Jim Crow South and concluding on a positive note with the progress we've made thus far.
"It is a tough history for not only whites but blacks as well," said Fletcher. "Because we are taught this in our homes but never have we seen it up close and personal."
There are 10 exhibits/collections with hundreds of collected and donated artifacts; many are from the Fletcher family's group that helps bring African American history to life.
One of the exhibits is on the Tuskegee Airmen, which spotlights Hartford native 2nd Lt. Edward Thornton Dixon.
Fletcher also has an exhibit that shares the doors of the Jim Crow South, and has another door that puts a spotlight on racism that continues to persist today but through Fletcher's personal story of discrimination at a New Haven Starbucks in 2013.
Fletcher said all of the exhibits help emphasize the importance of bringing Black history in this capacity to Connecticut. This is why it's entirely free and donations are accepted.
"It will help curriculum; it will help teachers to have that discussion about African American history, " said Fletcher. "It is American history, and it's history that was in all parts of decades and centuries."
Click here for more information about the Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American Museum in Stratford.
Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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