Alabama Museum Will House Slave Artifacts
Jan. 08, 2003
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) _ A couple with more than 15,000 artifacts from slavery through the civil rights era chose Mobile as the site of a museum for their collection, saying they want it to stay in the South.
Jim and Mary Anne Petty of Gulfport, Miss., said they will form a nonprofit organization to raise money for the planned Middle Passage Museum.
Howard Jones, the history professor at the University of Alabama who wrote ``Mutiny on the Amistad,'' the basis for the 1997 Steven Spielberg movie ``Amistad,'' said Mobile should be excited.
``It could be a real mecca in terms of a center of learning for Southern history, for slave history and for African-American history,'' Jones said. ``I think this has international ramifications. What you're really talking about is what happened to millions of people.''
Jim Petty, 44, said he became interested in history in college but that what he read seemed ``whitewashed.'' Petty, who is white, said a black friend suggested he collect artifacts to better understand black history.
``So, it kind of became an obsession,'' he said.