FOREST CITY, Iowa - From slavery to the election of President Obama, and everything in between.
A traveling Black history museum is giving Waldorf University students and community members a glimpse at the past through artifacts.
Michaela Nordby is one of many Waldorf students who got to absorb history through artifacts like these
"We see it in books and read about it and hear about it, but actually having artifacts to see makes it more real for everybody."
Cuffs from the days of slavery, a book from Civil Rights leader W.E.B. DuBois, and an autographed picture of Muhammad Ali, as well as an issue of Time magazine with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the cover were just some of the small pieces of Black history on display in the Waldorf atrium.
Fred Saffold, III works with the traveling True Black History Museum, which started in 2010 with two main goals: to preserve Black history, and to show the significant contributions people of African descent have had towards the fabric of society, something that Saffold says promotes respect.
"I think it's difficult to respect someone or a group of people if you feel that they don't have value. So we come to provide that inspiration, that motivation, and that cultural balance."
Saffold also spoke with students and community members in a packed atrium, sharing not only the story of the museum, but also what Dr. King was responding to and why there is a yearly celebration for him. In terms of King's vision being met, Saffold says there is still more work to be done.
"We talk about loving our neighbor, we talk about racial equality, we talk about not discriminating against other people."
Nordby says that while a lot of what King envisioned has come to fruition, there is more that can be accomplished.
"We all need to have more open eyes in about things and definitely needing to be more coming together better as a community throughout the whole United States. It's very important. We say we are 'United States', so let's be united."
The museum is currently on a 22 state tour that will run through March.