The Shelby County Historical Museum shares the grief and despairover the killing of George Floyd and the demands for change exhibited by protests nationwide and globally. We recognize Floyd’s murder carries with it a deep historical context that we must continue to address as an institution invested in the preservation and remembrance of this nation’s public history, a history that still inadequately recognizes the pain and injustice of racism, terror, and violence experienced by people of color. We condemn the systemic racism these people experience and grieve with them in their mourning of Floyd, AhmaudArbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop and countless others. We stand by them in their demands for change, justice, and equality.
As public historians, we have a unique role in creating a space that looks critically at our nation’s past. It is our duty to preserve, discuss, and share our history, including the systemic racism that has limited the rights and opportunities of our fellow Americans, and fellow human beings, for centuries. We must continue to educate ourselves and our communities on the issues that people of color face and foster a better understanding of their perspectives and the world they live in. Continued education about racism and its historical roots is vital to understanding and combating discrimination within our communities and nation. The museum is ready to lead in this endeavor.
We echo the need for change and are committed to doing the work that needs to be done to create a more just and humane future for all Americans. Every individualhas the right to live in a society where they feel represented, valued, and safe. We will do our part to ensure that this is a reality for all Americans. Sincerely, Sarah McDonald, M.A. Executive Director