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EDITOR'S NOTE: In honor of Black History Month, state Rep. Pat Moore is recognizing a number of local individuals and organizations making significant contributions to the local community.

The Northeast Louisiana (NELA) Delta African American Heritage Museum serves as an institution dedicated to the research, identification, selection, acquisition, presentation, and preservation of visual art forms, historical documents, in addition to showcasing artifacts that relate to the life and culture of African Americans past and present.

The NELA Delta African American Heritage Museum opened its doors to the public on March 12, 1994 and was founded by Mrs. Nancy Johnson, deceased wife of Rev. James Johnson.

The museum was chartered first on February 3, 1994 then amended in May 1996. Formerly, before her death, Mrs. Lorraine Slacks served as Executive Director and was the guiding force establishing the current facility in Chennault Park. It was because of her tenacious spirit that we enjoy the current location. Her son Ross Slacks continues that legacy as our Executive Director.

The collections of the museum combined with related activities can assist all peoples in understanding the African American Experience. The museum serves the entire state, but places emphasis on Monroe and the Northeast Louisiana parishes of Richland, Morehouse, LaSalle, Caldwell, Madison, East Carroll, West Carroll, Tensas, Franklin, Catahoula, Lincoln, Concordia, Union, Jackson, and Ouachita.

The NELA Delta African American Heritage Museum is considered a beacon in the community where area schools come for tours, workshops are held, groups gather for the most important moments in their family histories, where commemorations are held for the most influential personalities of our past, where people come to become more culturally aware, and where organizations gather to forge strategies that will make a difference in the futures of generations of informed people.

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