Museums are for everyone, says librarian and curator Erika Witt. Join us for a conversation about Southern University at New Orleans’s African art collection, her transformative trip to Egypt, and how galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) can and must make themselves more inviting and accessible to visitors who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
- SUNO Leonard S. Washington Memorial Library
- SUNO museum studies program
- Mandinka People of Guinea
- Ngaady aMwaash
- Kuba Kingdom, the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Mende people, Sierra Leone
- Sowei masks (Mende people, Sierra Leone and Liberia)
- The Yaka people, the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Shafik Gabr East-West Art of Dialogue initiative
- History Classes Often Don’t Tell the Full Story (Channel 9 News Colorado)
- “The Humanity of Blackness” Missing From History Classes (NBC Philadelphia)
- Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (Picture Puffin Books)
- What is Griot?
- Science Museum of Western Virginia
- Big plans in the works for planetarium at the Science Museum of Western Virginia (WDBJ)
- National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
- Harrison Museum for African Art
- Gullah/Geechee Nation
- SUNO-UNO merger proposal dies in legislature (Nola.com)
- SUNO: Past, Present and Future
- SUNO accreditation renewed despite previous financial struggles (Louisiana Illuminator)
- Southern University Works to Restore its Collection of African Art (Associated Press)
- Slit Drum
- Mary McLeod Bethune
Behind the Mic
Sharon M. Burney is a program officer with CLIR, where she supports the Recordings at Risk and Digitizing Hidden Special Collections grant programs. Sharon specializes in academic, cultural heritage, community, and institutional support systems, navigating administrative policy adherence with an interpersonal connection that promotes community building. Prior to joining CLIR, she spent 15 years providing program support to the University of Florida African American Studies Program, helping it to become a premiere degree program. She is also a widely respected poet and community organizer. She loves to embrace the infinite historical contributions of the African diaspora, and blends them with contemporary civil rights, activism, and social issues in her poetry. Her passion for public service, education, and humanity is exemplified in every aspect of her life, and when in rest mode you can find her enjoying the simple moments with her daughters and pets.
Erika N. Witt is the interim circulation librarian, adjunct professor, and keeper of collections at Southern University at New Orleans, engaged primarily with collections management and the circulation of library materials. Her focus is on the arts of Africa and museology. Erika has developed numerous exhibitions of art and history and cared for various collections in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Virginia. Her recent works include collections management at the Harrison Museum of African American History in Roanoke, Virginia, and Southern University at New Orleans African Art Collections. Erika received a B.A. in Museum Studies from Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee, and an M.A. in Museum Studies from Southern University at New Orleans. She is a doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Design Program in Cultural Preservation at Louisiana State University.