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About RRAAM

Learn about the museum's history here.

Who we are

About The Museum

The River Road African American Museum was founded on March 12, 1994 by the Hambrick family and their visionary leader Kathe Hambrick.  In 1991 Ms. Hambrick returned to Louisiana from California and discovered the many new developments in Louisiana had not eradicated much of its history as there were still remnants of the past. Lack of knowledge about the contributions of African Americans who lived and worked the plantations along the Mississippi River remained. As Hambrick toured the plantations lining the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, she quickly realized the history of enslaved Africans were omitted from the narratives which only romanticized lives of slave owners and their families. She then claimed agency of this narrative for African Americans by declaring “We must do something to tell our story…” After the revelation of a museum as the platform by which these narratives should be told, in 1992 she then approached Tezcuco Plantation owners and confidently requested the usage of one of its vacant rooms to begin this museum. With their acceptance, The River Road African American Museum was created and housed at the Tezcuco Plantation where it remained until 2002 when a fire engulfed the 4,500 square-foot plantation house. The decision to not rebuild the plantation house by its owners led to the museum’s relocation to 406 Charles St. in Donaldsonville, Louisiana where it has remained and grown. 

 

Housed in the Brazier House, the Main Museum has exhibited and narrated stories of : great contributions of Africans, their enslavement and murder, their forced trafficking and servitude, consistent resistance to oppression, contributions to both American and global society, and the lineage of culture, tradition and bloodline. Kathe was heavily supported by her brothers Harold, Darryl, and Donald in her support to continue the vision.  This support enabled River Road African American Museum to grow from exhibition space at the Brazier house to the Dr. Lowery Medical Office, the Rosenwald School, True Friends Benevolent Society Hall and the Episcopal Church of the Ascension.

Mission Statement

The mission of the River Road African American Museum (RRAAM) is to educate visitors about the history and culture of African Americans in the rural communities of south Louisiana through the collection, preservation, and interpretation of art, artifacts, and historic buildings.

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