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Mama's Story

Emma Pearl Haynes Stennis is the inspiration behind Mama’s Attic.

Born in Shuqualak, Mississippi in 1926 as a sharecropper to parents Clay and Nola Haynes, Mama desired more for herself and her family. She persuaded her parents to move with her to Omaha, NE in 1952.

Mama was a self-taught folk artist who used art to express her life growing up in Mississippi, the overall history and culture of Black Americans and their experiences in America. Many of her pictures tell her family’s story living as poor sharecroppers in segregated rural Mississippi.

Mama loved all History, but focused mainly on Black History. Although she only received a sixth grade education, she was a self-taught historian. I inherited my love of history from her.

Long before the issues surrounding Critical Race Theory, it was Mama’s belief that history belonged to us all and should be taught without making any one feel guilty or inferior. Mama’s Attic is my way of continuing my mom’s legacy of telling our complete history.

Mama’s Attic provides carefully researched exhibits that are curated around an historical theme. The themed exhibits change every three months. Each exhibit is accompanied by a short video related to the themed subject.

Mama’s Attic can accommodate individual or group visits. All visits are by appointment only. Visits are free, but donations are encouraged.

Schedule your visit today!

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