Black History Museum at Franklin

Black History Month Museum Brings Culture, Education to Franklin
Posted on 02/07/2019
An impressive display of African-American history was on display at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in recognition of Black History Month, courtesy of a Binghamton alumna with a passion for sharing her culture.

Students had an interactive learning experience when their school auditorium was temporarily transformed into an outstanding Black History Month Museum. Bonita Tarrant has been crafting the display over the last two decades, and it has grown by the year. Today, it includes poster boards, dolls, antiques, and more. Tarrant, a lifelong Binghamton resident and veteran employee of Lourdes Hospital, said she enjoys dedicating her free time to celebrating all the wonderful accomplishments of African-American history, and sharing them with students.

"I've been interested in black history -- my history -- for a long time. I've been collecting these things for about 20 years," Tarrant said. "I do this to make people aware of where we come from, and how far we've come, because we've come a long way."

The exhibit celebrates African-American culture, as well as black people who have made history, like President Barack Obama and Muhammad Ali. Guest speakers also came to celebrate Black History Month. The students even got to hear from a woman who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I think it's a great way to know what our history is, and where we came from," Nakiyah Bryant, a fifth grade student, said. "It's important not just for black people, but for everybody to know our history."

The Black History Museum has also been on display at Lourdes Hospital and the Endicott Visitor's Center. Tarrant said she hopes to bring the exhibit to other community venues, so it can provide education and enjoyment for more audiences.