Channeling Passion & Sharing History – Creation of Heritage Salon

Channeling Passion & Sharing History – Creation of Heritage Salon

This is a guest post from Jada Wright-Greene, founder of Heritage Salon.  After reading a piece where she raised the question of why there are not more African-Americans visiting museums I realized I had never considered this and wanted to find out more about her work.  Museums hold not only art but also serve to record our history and culture.  We are inspired by Jada’s passionate for sharing history and culture.

Passion and Drive

At the age of 17, soon after I arrived on the campus of Bethune Cookman College, I began working at the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation (Home of Dr. Bethune).  It was here that I realized my love of historic house museums.  At a time when most college freshman are at parties or hanging out with new friends I spent hours working at this historic home museum without pay and I loved every moment.As years went by I was still in love with historic homes. I love historic house museums because when you enter an historic home it gives you a sense of connection with the person that once lived in that particular space, it’s an opportunity to see the personal side of history.

Soon I discovered museum studies.  I worked in several small museums, and though I was never able to get that “big museum job” I knew I had to do something with my passion and drive for the museum field.

Three things drove me to channel my passion, (1) not gaining a big museum job, (2) discovering my name in a publication about African-American historic homes seven years after college, and (3) learning I was the first African-American to graduate from the Museum Studies Department at Michigan State University.

I knew then that I was not ordinary and felt I could make a difference. I knew I had to make my voice heard and share my passion with others.  Out of this Heritage Salon was born.

Creating Heritage Salon

Heritage Salon was created from my vision of sharing African-American museums and historic homes with the world. I also wanted to answer the question of why there are not more African-Americans visiting museums. I noticed at an early age I would be one of the only African-Americans visiting museums and, eventually, one of the only African-Americans working in a museum.

I knew, that because of my love of this field and my persistence in making others aware of this love, no one could better share African-American museums and historic homes with the world than me!

My vision for Heritage Salon is for the site to become a resource for individuals interested in the field.  Others can read about my passion and learn about museums around the country. I hope one aspect is for teachers to use the site as a resource for teaching and as a way to introduce their students to African-American museums.

Heritage Salon has moved and inspired me to pursue a Ph.D in African-American Studies with a focus on Museum Studies. I hope others can be inspired by my love, my passion, and my drive to make museums a part of their lives.

More About Jada

Jada Wright-Greene is committed to her passion of museums and introduces everyone she meets to her love. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Bethune Cookman College (2000), Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and a certificate in Museum Studies from Michigan State University (2004).  Originally from the south, she currently lives in the Midwest and devotes her free time to her husband and two children.


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