African American history is finally a topic of conversation in most homes, schools or churches across our country, and Black Lives Do Matter! This collection/exhibition entitled "Images of America/Challenges of the Badge" will give everyone an opportunity to experience a powerful visual display of what motivated the trailblazers and pioneers who forged the way for equality, as well as, freedom for African Americans today. The exhibit which is designed to travel is a strong reminder to ALL Americans to never forget the violence and racial injustice which displayed the ugly realities of dark times in our great history. Also, keeping in mind the blood, sweat and tears that were shed by those who fought so valiantly for their liberties.

"Remembering the past is critical to healing and moving forward to a positive future."



Jeffrey A. Fletcher the owner/collector of the African American Collection, is a life long resident who was raised in South Eastern Connecticut. He is one of four children whose parents migrated from the south during the "Jim Crow" and turbulent Civil Rights movement. 

After graduating from high school and college, he began what he refers to one of the many inspirational points in his life that brought him to collecting African American artifacts and memorabilia. Jeffrey spent fourteen years employed within the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and twenty one years as a Police Officer in the City of New Haven. Where the community he served was a multi-cultural community comprised of African American and Latino neighborhoods.

The exhibit is a collection of artifacts which reflect decades of turbulent times for African Americans in the United States during the period of slavery and the Civil Rights movement. It brings visitors up close and personal which is an experience that many have only read about in history books or seen in movies.

The exhibit embraces the teachings of tolerance, diversity, unity and educating people that there was a time when imagery played a significant role in how African Americans were perceived. The artifacts and memorabilia may seem to be difficult to view but they are a part of African American history that needs to be told just as much as the triumphs which were made by African American pioneers and trailblazers. 

The exhibit is an opportunity to begin honest conversations regarding a rich and strong history which has historically been maligned. The "Images of America" exhibit is an experience which will  leave lasting impressions and memories.     

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Tools of Bondage