In 2000, Utah became the second to last state in the nation to recognize Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a national holiday.
“There’s definitely a lack of black history and accurate black history in Utah," said Lex Scott, founder of the United Front Civil Rights Organization and Black Lives Matter Utah. "You know when they cover black history month, it doesn’t matter if you’re in kindergarten or a senior in high school it’s the same thing,”
This year, she is spearheading a project to create the state’s first mobile black history museum.
“We have historians working on this who have collected historical items from black Utahns dating back to slavery. So they have different time periods marked out and basically it’s going to be a timeline starting at the beginning of the bus and going all the way back,” Scott said.
The collection includes historical literature, household items and most importantly, she says, a missing narrative.
“Black people have also been successful: we’ve been architects, scientists, historians, doctors, surfers, equestrians. You know we’re not just athletes and entertainers -- we’ve accomplished a lot and we’ve contributed a lot to the history of Salt Lake City and to the United States of America and we really want to make sure that the kids here can see themselves reflected in the bus,” Scott said.
This is hugely important to Scott who says that the next generation needs to see black success so they too can become a success. Currently, the project is still raising funds, but the team plans for the mobile museum to be up and running by summer.
And when asked where she plans on taking the bus Scott had this last remark to share: “Everywhere. Everywhere.”