NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) —Hurricane Ida struck South Louisiana on August 29th, 2021. The effects are still ever present in many areas. The Finding Our Roots African American Museum, was once a cultural hub for the area, but it suffered structural damage that would see it’s doors closed for good.
Margie Scoby is the founder and president of the museum and says, “It was a major setback for us. We didn’t think we would ever get back up and running because we weren’t allowed to use the building anymore. But God made a way and we are going to continue.”
Forced to adapt and become innovative, the museum lives on in the form of a curated museum tour bus. The bus will now travel around the tri-parish area that includes St Mary, Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes.
“After being displaced, we decided that we need to move on and continue the history. The concept of the mobile unit was great! I really know that our story needs to continue. If we don’t tell it, nobody else will,” says Scoby.
Just as before, the museum covers periods and topics such as slavery, reconstruction, music education, military and the story of African American food. Margie Scoby will also continue her mission of helping people find their past with genealogy research.
Misfortune provided a greater opportunity for the museum to have a wider reach. The bus will soon have logo wrapping provided by the Terrebonne Parish Tourist Commission. The hope is for the museum to expand into three vehicles.
Ruby Hartman Peters is a museum visitor and says, “I think it is fabulous because there is a lot of history in here that we need to know. This will be a very good thing for the high schools and elementary schools because all children need to know where we came from and how we got here.”
The next stop for the Finding Our Roots African American Traveling Museum is Nichols University. They will post future visits on their Facebook page. They are taking calls for anyone in the area interested in being visited by the museum.