The Unspoken Truths Travelling Museum at CKHS

Delbert Richardsons’ travelling historic museum that teaches about American history from an Afrocentric lense. Presentations were held February 15th, 2023 in the theaters at Central Kitsap High School.v


Kylie G. Martin

Mr. Delbert Richardson presenting to students in chair

by Kylie G. Martin, Reporter

Mr. Delbert Richardson at Central Kitsap High School on stage with museum

This February on the 15th, Mr. Delbert Richardson brought The Unspoken Truths American History Traveling Museum to Central Kitsap High School for an optional learning time in the theater. With excitement and enthusiasm to educate young minds he projected American history through an Afrocentric viewpoint to students. Initially starting of introducing himself and his mission, 

“Our mission is to empower all people with the unspoken historical truths that leads to self-restoration and community healing…called the American History Traveling Museum intentionally because he who tells the story controls the narrative, and the majority of our history has been told through the white male lens,” said Richardson. “We are here to tell it otherwise” 

Richardson is an ethnomuseumologist who specializes in a precise storytelling approach to American history. Starting off each presentation with history of mother Africa and the definitions of race/racism. 

Image of Travelling Museum “Mother Africa Poster” from Delbert Richardson

As he rolled through the definitions that humans have let define society, he called for volunteers to read the definitions and slides aloud for all to hear. For those who volunteered to read something out to classmates, he handed out gift cards to incentivise students and show his appreciation to participation in learning. One student who got a gift card was Elijah Padillo.

After the presentation he felt much more educated, aware of history before himself, and overall appreciative. 

After Richardson went through all projected slides he invited students up to take a look at posters, trinkets, letters, and signs from Mother Africa and Jim Crow Era. There were black inventions, shackles, torture practices, and African art on display. Each student was allowed to handle and deeply look at each and every item on display, as long as it was done respectfully. Another student that attended was Kirsten Perry, and they said, 

“I was able to hold a real chain used during the slave trade and I read an excerpt from a book written by the KKK…it was cool experience and I learned a lot” 

Image of shackles on display in the unspoken truths museum tables from Delbert Richardson

Eyes were opened and minds were broadened through Richardson form of education. The use of a hands on technique put real life events into perspective, for many. Perry truly learned American history in a different way and in a true perspective. 

I thought Delbert did a very good job of engaging the crowd especially when he was displaying his museum to people,” said Kerry Claiborne.

Richardson let students continue to look through items for a while and then called everyone into one group on the stage. He started to teach about Mother Africa through the posters on display, then the Jim Crow Era by putting shackles on the groud and visually teaching the crowd what it was truly like for slaves. He called for volunteers to help give visuals, including Erik Hunt and Craig Johnson, who are school admin. 

Mr.D presenting on stage, introducing artifacts of the museum

After he concluded teaching about Jim Crow, Richardson went through the history of black inventions. Each one a brilliant invention to the next, including quite a few that are still used today even in slightly different forms, like the super-soaker and curling wand. 

After the hands-on teaching portion students were asked to go back to their seats. Mr.D called on each represented race in the theater room and said; 

“I See You, I SEE you, I SEE YOU!” 

He then hand each and every student chant with him to say a few things including; 

“I love myself and I am very, very, very smart”

This group chant was a technique to include all, to leave off on a good note, and leave students feeling proud and empowered to have a free education. Mr. D then said Thank you and dismissed students. Overall, students left feeling seen and educated more thoroughly than they had been before choosing to attend such a lesson.

Black Student Union Merchandise from Central Kitsap High School