We Bound For Glory

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

Logan County commemorates the Aug. 8 "Emancipation Celebration."

It proclaims the day African-Americans were set free and were no longer considered slaves.

Now, Logan County honors this rich history every day with a museum and research center dedicated to black history.

We took a tour of the only African-American museum in western Kentucky and talks to one of the men who made it possible.

Michael Morrow has been studying black history in Logan County since he was a young boy.

Now everyone in the area can learn about black history through the Western Kentucky African-American Research Center.

"It was an idea of a lot of older people and local teachers that the history of this area hadn't been exposed the way it should be," said Morrow, Western Kentucky African-American Heritage Center Board Member.

One of the interesting aspects the center brings to light is the rich history of a Russellville community back in the 1800s, called the "Black Bottom."

"Former slaves moved here and Civil War soldiers too. They set up churches and businesses in the area. It's been an African-American community for probably 135 to 140-years," Morrow explained.

He said the center also allows African-Americans to research their own origins.

"There you can research your family history and church history. We're set up to help anybody research anything that has anything to do with African-American history in the region," Morrow said.

It's something he has already done for himself.

"I started researching when I was a young boy. I traced my family back to 1792, Montgomery County, Maryland."

Now Morrow has a greater sense of who he his because he knows where he came from.

"I felt better because when I read history, you can't tell me about my people. I understand. You can't generalize with me. I know my family's history," Morrow assured.

The current exhibit in the center talks about African-American's and their lives during and around the Civil War.

"It tells a story--tells why and how our people got in certain situations," he said.

A story that Morrow said people of all colors and creed should know more about.

The Civil War exhibit called "We Bound For Glory" will be on display for the next several months.

To learn more about the Western Kentucky African-American Research Center, call 726-4181.

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