Approximately 300 school students from Thomas County Middle School in Thomasville and Northside Elementary School located in Cairo visited the Jack Hadley Black History Museum on Dec. 5, 6 and 18 to augment their classroom studies on the American Civil War, the Reconstruction era, the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights era, all with an emphasis on the Thomasville, Thomasville County and southwest Georgia area.
The museum registrar, Cheryl Walters and Walter Leslie, board member and volunteer, provided the students an introduction on these periods
Museum docents, consisting mostly of retired local educators, then gave the students a tour of the museum with in-depth coverage of artifacts that pertained to the various eras.
The students were able to touch and hold many of the items that have a direct connection to local history. Other items, including a 19th-century bull horn that has been in the Hadley family for generations, could only be viewed through a protective glass case.
The students were particularly intrigued by the Buffalo Soldier and Jim Crow exhibits, although some got distracted by the area sports heroes.
Courtney Warner, a Thomas County Middle School teacher, stated, “Everything really hit home with what we've talked about in the classroom.”
That was by design. After the school leaders requested the tour, museum staff queried the teachers as to what the students were studying in the classroom and what specifically they would like to see in the museum.
The museum staff then designed the tours with that purpose in mind. Some teachers and chaperones also commented that they learned new information during the visit.
Since the tours were abbreviated due to the time constraints of the students, the museum staff invited the students to return outside of school time and take in all that the museum has to offer.
The Jack Hadley Black History Museum is located at 214 Alexander St., Thomasville.
The museum’s staff may be contacted by phone at (229) 226-5029 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The museum’s web address is www.jackhadleyblackhistorymuseum.com.