African American historian Eric Majette shares collection with NOI

historical Jet magazine
Historical Jet Magazines arrive in bulk for the International African American Music & Heritage Center (photo credit Eric Majette)

Atlanta-based African American historian Eric Majette has spent the last two decades of his life preparing for the Atlanta opening of the International African American Music and Heritage Center. A lover of history since his middle school years, Majette started researching his family tree. “I’ve always been a student of history. The project was birthed out of my search of my own family genealogy at twelve years old. This is a life long project that grew bigger than I ever imagined,” Majette explains, “its truly a labor of love.”

Majette’s journey quickly moved from researching his own family to finding information and artifacts pertaining to African American history that were both shocking and inspirational. “I’ve always wanted to know where I came from. My father is an only child so my family was very small at the time. My grandfather died before I was born and my father didn’t know a lot about his dad’s side of the family. My great grandmother was from Dothan, Alabama and knew that her grandparents were former slaves. Research led me to my actual ancestors and in the process I learned things about slavery that I knew others needed to understand,” Majette says.

Research led to Majette purchasing artifacts and memorabilia from private collections that slowly became one of the most impressive collections of African American history in the country. “There isn’t another collection that gives such a comprehensive viewpoint on our history. We have everything from the initial shackles from the slave ships to memorabilia, purchase orders, photos, literature, etc.,” Majette explains.

He always knew Atlanta would be the perfect location to house this national treasure.

“Atlanta is the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. This was and still is the Black mecca. The only thing missing is our comprehensive historical journey and that’s what we have created,” he explains.

As word has started to grow about the collection, Majette received a last minute call from Minister Ishmael Muhammad, son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, asking Majette to share his collection with the many attendees of the Nation of Islam’s 2016 National Saviour’s Day. Although he had less than 48 hours to prepare, Majette says he was beyond humbled to have his pieces on display for the thousands of people attending the yearly event.

The collection scored rave reviews, and Majette looks forward to attending next year. “Our goal with the International African American Music & Heritage Center is to re-establish Black pride,” Majette says.

African American historian Eric Majette shares collection with NOI
Min Louis Farrakahn congratulates historian Eric Majette (photo credit: Eric Majette)

“We’ve always been deprived of our history and I believe that’s why we are in the state that we are in today. We don’t realize that we come from kings and queens long before they cast us as slaves and maids. Civilization was literally built on our backs, both ancient and present,” Majette says.

The center will house the following collections: the Gospel Music Heritage Collection, the Souls Of Black Folk Music Collection and the African American Heritage Collection.

Majette is looking forward to officially opening the physical location in the spring of 2017.  Until then, he looks forward to taking the collection on the road for various short-term exhibits.

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