Guelph Museums asks for donation to document Black Lives Matter movement
Published Saturday, July 18, 2020 1:16PM EDT
GUELPH -- Museums in Guelph are asking for donations of photos and physical items to document the Black Lives Matter movement and its impact on the community.
Donor Dionne Daley said the world is currently battling two pandemics.
"One on the health front and one on the social front," she said.
She created masks, which read "I Can't Breathe," for protesters marching for Black Lives Matter in Guelph last month.
"It felt right to present this on a mask," Daley said.
She said she used the mask as a way to grieve the death of George Floyd and give back to her community, all while reconnecting with her mixed-race identity.
"Everything around what this mask represents has been a really personal reclamation for me," Daley said.
Now, Daley is donating her mask to the Guelph Civic Museum as part of its call for items and photos related to Black Lives Matter.
"Our museum has been reflective of a white Euro-centric story, not reflective of the diversity in the community," said Tammy Adkin, manager of Guelph Museums.
Curators are working with the Guelph Black Heritage Society to preserve items from the local protest.
"[We're] finding a safe place for people to have dialogue about the issues that matter to this community," Adkin said.
Donations can be anything from posters and buttons to masks and clothing. They'll be displayed in a collection.
"Where this protest came from and why, and then why this protest needs to continue going forward," said Kayla "Kween" Gerber, the executive director of the Guelph Black Heritage Society.
Nav Mitchell donated t-shirts worn during the march, made to inspire her three young children.
"I wanted them to know that Mom and Dad are doing something, that they have a voice and they're using their voice," Mitchell said.
The museum is also asking for digital submissions like photos, videos, written reflections and event memes. Curators will start their review process in August.
"Folks 20, 50, 100 years down the road can recognize that Black history and Blackness is rooted right here in Guelph," said Christopher Stuart Taylor, a history lecturer at the University of Waterloo.
So far, the museum has collected about 60 items.
"These are people's lives, these aren't artifacts," Taylor said.
"All these pieces have to come with education tools," Gerber said. "It can't just be the displays, I need people to educate themselves, learn, grow."
Anyone interested in submitting items can fill out a form on Guelph Museums' website.