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Have Blues, Will Travel: Traveling Blues Musicians in the Jim Crow Era

Because Black artists were not paid royalties on their songs in the way white musicians were, touring was among the only ways to make money from their music. However, traveling as a Black person, especially in the American South, was incredibly dangerous. On the road, travelers were faced with segregation laws everywhere. There was intense discrimination and even violence in some cases. With the Negro Motorist Green Book’s help, however, safe spots were identified along major United States roads and highways. This exhibit showcases the hardships and inequality Black Blues musicians faced while traveling to play concerts in the Jim Crow era.


April 8 - July 2, 2022


Freedom Riders ran Feb. 27 - March 28, 2022 It celebrated a seminal moment in civil rights history. The self-proclaimed “Freedom Riders” challenged the mores of a racially segregated society by performing a disarmingly simple act—traveling together in small interracial groups, and sitting where they pleased on buses and trains. Demanding unrestricted access to terminal restaurants and waiting rooms, they were met with bitter racism, mob violence, and imprisonment along the way. But their courage and sacrifice over eight months in 1961 changed America forever. For a news story about the exhibit, see:

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Civil Rights in the Sunshine State ran January -Sept., 2020, including several months when the museum was closed during the continuing pandemic.

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We were proud to welcome this magnificent traveling exhibition, telling the story of the heroic fight for equality, from post-slavery to the present day. 

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It was standing room only for Dr. Vincent Adejumo's talk on the Rosewood Massacre, with more than 120 people attending!

Norma Robinson was interviewed by WFLA Channel 8 News for a feature on the exhibition.  See it at:

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America

ran Aug. 10-Sept. 21, 2019. What a success! 

Our state-of-the art, multi-media traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution, was a great success. We hosted six well-attended events, and were honored to have Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speak at the Opening.


We added local information on the Pool and the Dog Track, now part of our permanent exhibits. And we were covered on Channel 13's Charley's World:

Watch Florida Humanities' video of our opening:

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Visitors Hometown Teams Sulphur Springs.

Clockwise From top: visitors enjoy exhibit; Mayor Castor & Vice President Norma Robinson; Opening talk by Mayor Castor; Our high school interns; Prof. Ray Arsenault

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High school interns prepare to guide vis
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