Jan. 11, 2006
A new exhibit commemorating Black History Month, which is February, is on display through Feb. 24, in the Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Learning Center, 1601 Morningside Avenue, on the campus of Morningside College.
The learning center’s display cases contain a variety of photos, newspaper articles, and other memorabilia about the Sioux City Ghosts, Sioux City African American churches, and Sioux City Black Homecoming events.
The Sioux City Ghosts, a local softball team comprised entirely of African American players, toured throughout the Midwest and West Coast and into Canada and Mexico from the 1930s to the 1950s. The Smithsonian Institute recognized the team, known as the Harlem Globetrotters of softball, in 1996 for their contributions to the world of sports.
Four large display panels featuring photographs of prominent members of Sioux City’s African American community through the years are located in the lobby of the Spoonholder Café inside the learning center. The panels are on loan from Richard Hayes, Sioux City activist, and the Sioux City Black Homecoming Committee.
Six Sioux City Black Homecoming events have taken place since 1977 when they were first organized to encourage members of the Sioux City African American community who have moved away to reconnect with families and friends still living in the area. The events, which typically include a picnic, sightseeing tour, banquet, and church services, have since expanded to include reunion events in Los Angeles, Calif., Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, Minn.
Black History Month was initially observed as Black History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodsen, noted scholar, historian, and founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, later known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The celebration expanded in 1976 and is now celebrated all over North America.
Every year since 1926, ASALH sets the national theme for the celebration. The theme for Black History Month 2006 is “Celebrating Community: A Tribute to Black Fraternal, Social, and Civic Institutions.”
Hours at the Hickman- Johnson-Furrow Learning Center are Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 p.m. - 11 p.m.