Tri-State’s first Black history museum to open in Ashland

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 3:54 PM EST
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - February is Black History Month, and two family members in Ashland are making history by introducing the region’s first black history museum.

The C.B. Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum is opening in April. It will be home to artifacts from our region and the whole country.

”When I tell you I know every book that’s in here, I mean that,” said museum co-founder Bernice Henry about her growing collection of books.

It’s full of books about Black history and culture, written by Black historians, celebrities and key figures of our time.

The library is a key part of what’s going to be the region’s first Black history museum.

Where paint cans and empty display cases now sit, will soon be home to exhibits full of history from our region and around the country.

“We’re really excited,” Henry said. “We’ve got tons and tons of artifacts, memorabilia, pictures, painting, stowed away in every little nook and cranny in this building. It’s been very receptive, not just for Ashland, we’ve included the tri-state area.”

This will be the first of its kind in the area. It will be an opportunity for everyone in the region to learn history they may not have known about otherwise.

“People still are living, I for one, who attended a segregated school,” Henry said. “In the middle of my education when I got up to the ninth grade, then schools were thoroughly integrated. I went and graduated from Paul Blazer. I had a very diverse education.”

Henry says having this resource is important not only during Black History Months going forward, but 365 days a year.

“We’re calling it Black history, but we have to start thinking in terms of our history because we’re all a part of a whole,” she said. “That’s one thing we want, this is not to separate, it’s to unify.”

The museum’s grand opening will be on April 22, and they’re expecting the event to be really big with food and visitors from across the country.

The exhibits will include hand-painted murals and history donated from all over the community.

The museum is named after C. B. Nuckolls, who was the principal of the Colored School in Ashland in the 1960s.

The museum is located at 901 Kilgore Dr. Ashland, KY 41101. For more information, visit their website here.