In an effort to continue Janice Cooley’s exhibit, a portion of “Invisible Roots and Legends: A Photographic View of African American History in the Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia will be on display at the North House Museum through August. The North House Museum is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Greenbrier Historical Society (GHS) was excited to partner with the Cooper Gallery and Exhibit Curator and GHS Board Member Janice Cooley to present this unique exhibit of African American history in the Greenbrier Valley at the Cooper Gallery in Lewisburg in September 2014.
The exhibit consists of a collection of photographs and artifacts, from post- civil war to today, of African Americans who have contributed to the growth and development of this area in business, religion, education, sports, politics, and entertainment as well as general family life.
Janice Cooley, exhibit curator, said, “I have a passion for the history of African Americans in this area. My own roots go deep here and I realized that so many of my contemporaries as well as the younger generation had no idea of the struggles and achievements of our ancestors. If this information is not preserved, it will soon be lost.”
Elizabeth McMullen, executive director of the Greenbrier Historical Society, said “The exhibit was an important first step in the effort to begin collecting history and stories from the African American community in order to improve our interpretation of local history and to present a well-rounded picture of the Greenbrier Valley.”
Recently, Janice Cooley was notified of her selection for the Human and Civil Rights Award, as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission’s Living the Dream Awards, for her exhibit Invisible Roots and Legends: A Photographic View of African Americans in the Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia. She will receive this award on Jan. 19, in Charleston.