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Arts, Culture & Religion

Utah Welcomes Black Lives Matter History Bus And Mobile Museum

A photo of the Black Lives Matter bus.
Ivana Martinez
Utah Black History Museum has its grand opening on Feb. 27, 2020 outside the Leonardo Museum.

Black Lives Matter Utah unveiled their Black History Museum Bus in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

About 40 people braved the snowy morning and huddled outside the Leonardo Museum for the grand opening. The repurposed school bus is covered with colorful murals of African American artists, leaders and activists — like Ruby Bridges, Jane Mannings James and Wallace Henry Thurman.

The back of the bus includes a list of 115 Black people who were killed by police since 2010. One of those names is Bobby Duckworth, a Utah resident who was experiencing a mental health episode when he was shot and killed by police in 2019.

A photo of Aunt Jemima’s artifacts.
Ivana Martinez
Aunt Jemima’s artifacts from the Black history museum outside the Leonardo Museum.

The exhibit holds historic artifacts such as dolls, images and artifacts of America’s past.

Lex Scott, with Black Lives Matter Utah, said the bus is meant to celebrate stories of excellence and history. Soon, it will start traveling to schools around the state to educate students about Black history. Scott said the goal is to make education about African Americans more accessible.

“The people who created this project with me wanted these children to have something where they could see themselves,” Scott said, “where they could see Black success, where they could see Black cowboys and musicians and artists.”

Liz Lambson, a board member of the Black History Museum Bus said a bus being used to transport the exhibit is symbolic.

“I was actually bussed to school,” Lambson said referring to a method used during the Civil Rights era to desegregate schools.“So the fact that you're using a bus has significance, in that busses have played a role in African American history.”

A photo of the Scotts.
Ivana Martinez
From left to right Tristan Scott, Lex Scott and Kiana Scott pose for a photo in front of the Utah Black History Museum Bus on Feb, 27, 2020 in Salt Lake City.

Nevaeh Parker is a 15-year-old poet and student at Roy High School. She said growing up she barely learned about her own history in school.

“It's hard to be a person sitting in your class where you only learn about and see the white people's side of the story,” Parker said.

She said she felt a sense of pride learning about her history and ancestors.

Scott said the bus is just the first phase. Next, they plan to build a brick and mortar museum.

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