Central Illinois’ black pioneers’ stories focus of Springfield museum exhibit – News – The State Journal-Register

When many people think of African-Americans in the 1800s, they only think of slavery, but an exhibition opening Sunday at the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum tells their many other stories, according to one of the exhibition’s developers.

“We want people to understand we weren’t just in slavery. We came out of that and became more,” said Elizabeth Alexander, who developed the “Early African-American Pioneers of Central Illinois and Springfield” display with Patricia James Davis. Alexander is a museum board member and descendant of one of the featured pioneer families.

The exhibition, which was created with a grant from the Sangamon County Historical Society, features seven panels with…

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