Leona A. Williams (L. A. W.)
(Oct. 13, 1921 – Sept. 14, 2014)
Since the founding of The Center for the Study of African and African Diaspora Museums and Communities, (CFSAADMC) our primary purpose was to research and be able to fill the gaps in the academic records about the Black Museum Movement. Additionally, this organization was established to provide training opportunities to individuals of all ages interested in protecting and carrying on the legacy of these museums, wherever they exist in the world.
With the passing of one of our founding board members I realized that the time had come for us to begin a dedicated fund to fulfill our purpose of providing training and scholarships. In order to celebrate the life of one of the CFSAADMC’s Founding Board Members, Mrs. Leona A. Williams we are starting a fund that will carry her name. Mrs. Williams passed on Sept 14, 2014.
The Fund is set up with two objectives: (1). Provide scholarships for students interested in studying African Diaspora Museum Studies and African Diaspora Museum Anthropology. (2) Establish a resources library and archives with materials on the African Diaspora to begin the work on traveling trunks (traveling museums) for the CFSAADMC’s African Diaspora Children’s Museums of Anthropology.
Let Me Tell you Something about Mrs. Leona A. Williams
(Mrs. Williams working on a list of artists from the African Diaspora)
One of my vivid memories of the board member we called Grammy was during a visit to her home in Baltimore. I shared a directory with her that I found of Black Artists of the African Diaspora. I was so excited about the directory and before I knew it she was excited too. Because of her struggle with dementia I just knew she would forget all about this directory. However, I made copies of the directory pages and left them for her, but not before we set up a space in her basement where she could work when she was ready. It was her project and she wouldn’t let me take it away. It was like one of her puzzles. And, she said “Just like you I want to see how the artists look and I want to ask them to let me see samples of their work, so I am going to get these names ready for you.”(2011)
I was leaving Baltimore and going to Georgia to start the work of the CFSAADMC. She asked me to pick up her work box before I left. She said she had it ready for me. To my surprise I was handed a shoe box full of colorful index cards and sticky notes. Some of it was written in her beautiful penmanship (which represented her good days) and others I could tell that it had been a struggle and most of her notes were illegible.
Her special project will be the work of an intern once we get the L.A.W. Fund underway. Mrs. Williams inspired the CFSAADMC work on Black Museums the Arts and Alzheimer’s Project. Two books have been produced and are available for purchase, Anaya and Grammy a Virginia Black Museums and Alzheimer’s Story, and Tim and Trey a Georgia Black Museums and Alzheimer’s Story.
Happy Birthday “Grammy” You are missed and Loved
If you are interested in contributing please email me at email@example.com