Omaha museum invites you inside Black history

Mama's Attic is a local hub for Black history.
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A local museum in Omaha is taking a non-traditional approach to arts and education.

Mama’s Attic is a local hub for Black history and promises to transport you back in time through interactive culturally immersive exhibits.

The one on display right now will leave you hungry for more.

Inside Omaha’s Center Mall is a hidden gem. A cozy room, better known as Mama’s Attic explores Black history through rotating exhibits.

”Curate for the purpose of helping people understand more than just what they may have gotten in school,” said Lavon Stennis-Williams with the museum. “So we dive into subjects or people that you may not have ever been introduced to.”

It’s a boutique museum, that instead of focusing on one item or artifact, gives you a complete picture of a specific subject.

“They were familiar with blending a bunch of seasonings to give food that attitudes that we call soul food.”

Lavon Stennis-Williams is the founder and director. Stennis says they have a new exhibit called ‘Seasoned to Taste’ - exploring the history and culture of African Americans’ contributions to food.

It’s dating all the way back to how enslaved Africans helped craft some of the dishes we all enjoy today.

“You’ll meet James Hemmings who was the enslaved cook for Thomas Jefferson. He perfected creme brulee, ice cream, macaroni and cheese that we eat today.”

It offers an immersive experience that Stennis says isn’t meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but to share and explore Black history with others.

“History should be taught without making one group feel inferior.”

Those are words from Stennis’ mother and the inspiration behind the museum.

Each exhibit is carefully designed to make guests feel as if they’ve walked into the attic of a loved one, full of heirlooms and memories. Some beautiful, others painful, but all of them tell an educational story.

”All of our exhibits have some original artifacts to that period that we’re profiling. Once again it’s designed to tell a complete story.”

Each exhibit runs for two months and your visit can be tailored to your unique interests. Some visitors have lunch here, host meetings or make it a trip for the entire family.

And the museum is also free to enjoy.

”Some people spend hours here and you can. They’ll wanna go through the exhibit and watch the video.”

The ‘Seasoned to Taste’ exhibit ends Tuesday.

A brand new exhibit opens June 1. It highlights Blacks in uniform like the Tuskegee Airmen and Buffalo Soldiers.

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