One woman’s impressive collection of more than 20,000 historical items that reflect and honor African American heritage is coming up for auction, just in time to mark the end of Black History Month.
Elizabeth Meaders is a 90-year old Staten Island resident who has spent the past 60 years gathering historic objects to complete the most comprehensive collection of items and memorabilia that represent the African American experience.
The auction will be held at the New York-headquarters of auction house Guernsey’s on Feb. 28th. Offered in a massive single lot, the auction will be held online and is open to international bidders.
This historic collection carries serious emotional and political significance.
"There is no collection, either institutional or privately owned, that represents the totality of the Black experience in America as comprehensively as the Elizabeth Meaders Collection,” Randy Weinstein, Director of the W.EB. DuBois Center, is quoted in a press release.
“I commend Ms. Meaders for her passion and noble commitment to telling the story of African American history through precious artifacts of that history,” Henry Louis Gates, Jr. from Harvard University adds. “It is a story that cannot be told enough, and so I hope her collection finds a home where it can illuminate and inspire generations for many years to come.”
The collection will be divided into a few categories, including Scourge of Slavery, the Struggle for Civil Rights and Legendary Black Leaders. Among the collection are rare medals awarded to Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers, posters from the Apollo Theater and even robes from members of the Klu Klux Klan.
Meaders puts these historic pieces up for auction in hopes of moving them to a university or a museum to educate others on the rich history that deserves to be preserved.
Some of the historic figures represented in the Meaders collection include Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jackie Robinson, Marcus Garvey, Louis Armstrong and Barack Obama, among many more leaders and heroes throughout African American history.