Help Save African American Treasures

NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

Save our African American Treasures

 Saturday, September 6, 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
520 16th St. N.
Birmingham, AL 35203

This program is free and open the public, all are welcome.

Appraisal Border

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) will co-host a daylong program to help Birmingham-area residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance. Presented in collaboration with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the event will feature presentations, hands-

on activities and preservation tips.

Participants may bring up to three personal items for a 20-minute, one-on-one professional consultation with experts on how to care for them. The specialists will serve as reviewers, not appraisers, and will be unable to determine an item’s monetary value. Objects such as books, paper and textiles no larger than a shopping bag can be reviewed (furniture, carpets, firearms and paintings are excluded).  Home video is also encouraged in 8mm, super 8, and 16mm film. We are unable to accommodate video formats such as VHS or HI-8.

The Treasures program also includes the following activities:

11:00 AM Saving Your Family Photographs and Papers
Great Aunt Mary left you with the responsibility of preserving the family photographs and papers – now what do you do? Learn how light, heat, and humidity can affect your family collections. Discover some simple things you can do to preserve your family paper and photography collections.
Presenter: Dee Psaila, Senior Conservator, Archives of Ontario

12:00 PM Preserving Digital Memories
Digital photos and other new media are fragile and require special care to keep them useable. As new technologies appear for creating and saving our personal digital information, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content. Join us to learn some simple, practical tips for preserving your digital memories.
Presenter: Walter Forsberg, Digital Archivist, Smithsonian NMAAHC

1:00 PM Preserving Clothing and Textiles
What is a “textile” in the museum world? Rag dolls, flags/banners, hats, lace, linens, needlework, quilts/ blankets, uniforms, upholstery/curtains – think fabric. Come and learn some tips on how to better preserve your daughter’s christening gown, your grandmother’s wedding dress, or your father’s military uniform from a professional who works in the field of textile preservation.
Presenter: Renée Anderson, Head of Collections, Smithsonian NMAAHC

2:00 PM Preserving Church Records: What to do and What not to do.
Every congregation should be keeping a record of its church history to develop a more complete understanding of its past activities. Learn best practices in preserving local church history, including what historical material to acquire and how to inventory and store.
Presenter: Frazine Taylor, Independent Archivist and Genealogy Consultant

12:30 PM and 2:30 PM Textile Packing Demonstration
Learn to store your textiles like a museum professional! Get practical tips to help you preserve special quilts and clothing, such as family uniforms and wedding dresses. See demonstrations of how to pack a quilt or dress using archival materials so you can safely store your treasures for the next generation.
Presenter: Susan Neill, Independent Costume & Textiles Scholar and Museum Consultant

For more information, visit, email or call (877) 733-9599.

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Save Our African America Treasures is made possible with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Remembering Robin Williams



The sudden death of Robin Williams has left the world without an acting genius. Williams was able to bring characters of all kinds to life not just for a few hours on the screen; he was able to make them stay permanently in his audience’s memory.

Through these characters, Williams was able to elevate social issues in movies in a way that few actors can. To honor the man, Think Progress assembled a list of seven such issues Williams touched in his films. We give you an excerpt below:

1. Homelessness and mental health in ‘The Fisher King’. Williams earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Parry, a homeless man suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder living on the streets. The National Alliance for Mental Illness named The Fisher King one of the top movies for mental illness, and while there’s been some debate over how accurate his portrayal of mental illness was, the movie clearly reflected Williams’ personal dedication to the issue.

2. Gay identity and gender expression in ‘The Birdcage’. In a time when it was still relatively controversial to be gay in America, Robin Williams and Nathan Lane played a loving gay couple who fought through stigma and showed their son why he shouldn’t be ashamed to be part of a gay family. It was just one of several Williams films that positively portrayed drag to mainstream audiences, but more than that it normalized gay love and adoption writ large.

3. Press freedom in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’. War and censorship are rarely laughing matters, and in other hands the the 1985 film “Good Morning, Vietnam” could have been a maudlin flop. Instead, Robin Williams took on the role of Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer and performed with such gusto and conviction that the movie rightly is remembered as one of his best.

4. Addiction in ‘The Crazy Ones’. Williams returned to television last year on David E. Kelley’s sitcom “The Crazy Ones,” playing a character not far from himself as Simon Roberts. Roberts, a recovering addict who had struggled with mental health issues (“I prefer nutjob or psychologically interesting,” Roberts quipped), was still able to build a successful advertising agency around his extraordinary energy and creativity.

5. Domestic abuse in ‘Good Will Hunting’. In 1997’s Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams and his co-star Matt Damon worked together to give heightened national attention — and a human face — to the struggles of those who endure domestic violence and abuse. The role earned Williams an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

6. Deforestation in ‘FernGully’. In the 1992 Australian-American film fully titled FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Robin Williams provided the voice to a fruit bat named Batty Koda, in his first role in an animated film. The plot revolves around a protagonist who leaves his rapacious team of loggers that threaten a magical rain forest, and joins the indigenous magical natives to save it.

7. Single parenting in ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’. In character as Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams addresses the stigmas of divorce and single-parenting, responding to a note from a little girl: “You know, some parents get along much better when they don’t live together. They don’t fight all the time and they can become better people. Much better mommies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together. And sometimes they don’t, dear. And if they don’t… don’t blame yourself. Just because they don’t love each other doesn’t mean that they don’t love you.”

BOTTOM LINE: Williams’ characters evinced progressivism and were role models for our lives. He showed us what it meant to be compassionate, open-minded, empathetic–and, of course, how to have a good laugh.

daily kos recommends … 3 charts to email your right-wing relatives













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State GOP deputy director’s tasteless Robin Williams tweet














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NFL player fired for supporting gay rights?

Zygi Wilf: Release Vikings’ complete discrimination investigation report to the public

Chris Kluwe
United States