Alexandria Museum Links Past, Present and Future

Dorothy Rowley | 1/2/2013, 12:53 p.m.

Hicks, 61, served as the museum's director for 13 years, prior to handing over the reins to Davis in August.

"Alexandria is a little unusual than most cities, in that the African-American community is dispersed around the city, rather than having been relegated to poor areas," Hicks said. He recalled that some of the museum's most popular attractions have been the traveling exhibitions, "The Jazz Age in Paris," and "The Blessings of Liberty," for which he said museum staff conceived the idea, then conducted research and collected artifacts.

But Hicks said Stafford's exhibit is unique.

"Mainly because it starts in Africa and takes a different stand from most American exhibits that basically begin in America," he said. More importantly, he said the exhibit provides a link as to why slavery developed, and how people of African descent came to exist in the United States.

Davis said she's excited about what the future holds.

"We're coming up on a really exciting year," Davis said, alluding to events that will include the museum's cemetery memorial in honor of blacks who came to Alexandria in search of freedom, the 100th anniversary of the birth of attorney Samuel Tucker who staged the 1939 sit-in and celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation.

"We're really there for the community, providing a variety of experiences and programs for every age," Davis said.