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February 23rd, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Nat Turner's bible donated to museum

By Sarah Springer, CNN

(CNN) - The bible belonging to Nat Turner, an American slave who led the famous slave rebellion of 1831, will be one of the first artifacts on view at The Smithsonian's National Museum of African-American History and Culture scheduled to open in 2015.

As a result of the rebellion Turner became a wanted man and was hunted throughout Virginia. When he was found he was holding a Holy Bible. A descendant of a white survivor of this slave rebellion has donated this bible to the new museum.

John W. Franklin, director of partnerships and international programs at The National Museum of African American History and Culture Smithsonian Institution, said (the bible) belonged to the Person family who were victims in the Nat Turner rebellion, which shows that African American history is not isolated and that it serves both white and black families, white and black individuals.

“It’s not just a black story, it’s never just a black story” Franklin said.

Franklin was in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony and said the opening brought many people to the event.

“People found it to be an uplifting and energizing experience, Franklin said. “People realized also that a groundbreaking is the beginning of the process. It’s reminds us all of how much we have to do to complete the exhibition before the late 2015 opening.”

Other artifacts already acquired by the museum include a dress worn by a slave girl, materials from a dress that Rosa Parks was carrying when she was arrested for sitting in the front of the infamous bus, Harriet Tubman artifacts and a hat that belonged to Michael Jackson.

According to Franklin, who is on the collection committee, the museum has a dozen exhibitions and the committee is constantly looking for new pieces to bring to the museum.

“We have funeral photos of the casket in which Emmett Till’s body was shown to the world after the body was recovered from the river, we have things from the sports and entertainment world,” Franklin said. “This is the kind of evidence that helps piece together a story.”

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Filed under: Black in America • Discrimination • History • Who we are
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. mikrik13

    There is money to be made in keeping racism alive in America no matter what your race. History is not the present.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • d

      Not just money. The people divided by the old race debate won't rise up to stop the criminals who perpetuate it. With the people divided they are too busy attacking each other to solve problems and stop corruption.

      Also, people who are in an attack mode are more likely to do something dishonest to gain the upper hand. Judgement isn't very good when a person is angry or agitated.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. job.Bradshaw@live.com

    SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU ......WHATEVER U WANT MEN TO DO TO YOU DO ALSO TO THEM FOR THIS IS THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS....ASK AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU SEEK AND U WILL FIND.....THEREFORE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMMORROW FOR TOMMORROW WILL WORRY ABOUT ITS OWN THINGS.....I SAY TO YOU THAT MANY WILL COME FROM EAST AND WEST AND SIT DOWN WITH ABRAHAM ,ISAAC,AND JACOB IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.....THEREFORE EVERY SCRIBE INSTRUCTED CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE A HOUSEHOLDER WHO BRINGS OUT OF HIS TREASURE THINGS NEW AND OLD...........................................SEE APOSTLE JOB @ FACEBOOK job.Bradshaw@live.com see notes or google jobbradshaw@live.com or see h20churchnet................or facebook Biblebradshaw@mail.com see notes

    February 24, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. best

    I agree with you cliffb. If they treat the quran a certain way, then our Holy Bible should be respected the same way. I am personally offended for the Bible not being capatilized everytime its used but the quran was. Fix your mistake cnn.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. MrMister

    It's not even a real Bible. It's missing several books and chapters from the Old Testament....silly Protestants. They hate Catholics, but insist on not only using the Bible we put together, but deciding which books they deem "un-sacred". XD

    February 24, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. best

    Superplus your comments just show how PREJUDICE and SEGREGATING that YOU are. God made all humans; colors are merely an adaption for our survival in our different enviroments/lanscapes, thats it. God has shown himself in all religions, including african ones, to bring us close to God, the God that loves us all. Perhaps you should let go of your hate minded ignorance & accept others as you want them to accept you.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cliffb

    Should the word Bible be capitalized in an article ? Within the same cnn news site an article on the burning of the Quran contains the word always capitalized. I was just wondering

    February 24, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. unowhoitsme

    What this country did to black people is no different than what Hitler did to the Jews. Just plain shameful. I long for the day that all humans respect all human races. "What the world needs now is love." Hate destroys.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • K

      Well said. My kids would say, " mean people suck. ".

      February 24, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • in care of people

      some other incident thats are similar or worse

      the moors conqeust of non muslims.

      romans making slaves of its surrounding countries.

      jewish slavery in gypt for over a thousand years

      .....now the only difference is our plight lasted much longer than yours....how dare you compare something like the holocaust to your plight....it was not the same, it was worse...in fact many peoples have had a worse plight than blacks.....deal with it

      February 24, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ali

    God bless America its actually a nation has been mad by liberty and humans dignity i really admire this nation for the conclusion they found the principles they made God bless you all.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. AA born and raised..

    Incredible how my positive and uplifting posts dont get posted.. I give up, thanks for the info though..

    February 24, 2012 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. superplus

    A black tormented slave believing in the white god of his white cruel tormentors proves only one thing: Slaves were physically abused AND psychologically manipulated to work and think at their masters' behest. I will never understand why people of color worship a white god. Don't they realize that most white people don't want them in their churches?

    February 23, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • sonic10158

      no one ever said God was white.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ezo

      Your comment shows how brainwashed YOU are! What makes you think black people believe that God is white! How sad you are, dude. Think about it for one second, if you're capable...Where did you get the idea that idea from? The pictures hanging on the wall at church? That's YOUR indoctrination. Not ours! God transcends color...He is ALL things!

      February 24, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • rhys matthew gacasan

      Sir what colors of your God and also what colors of Satan???

      February 24, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Ezo

      And when have you EVER heard of a black person trying to integrate a "White" church! Never! A place of worship is a refuge AWAY from people like you. Your brain is seriously twisted. However, I do recall a point in American history when white people bombed "Black" churches. Why do you suppose that happened?

      February 24, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. YOUR NEIGHBOR YOUR FRIEND

    IF YOUR LIFE IS ON THE LINE AND OUT OF NOWHERE YOUR GOING TO BE RESCUED YOU WONT HAVE THE OPTION OF PICKING AND CHOOSING A SPECIFIC RACE OR COLOR IT IS WHAT IT IS!

    February 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. YOUR NEIGHBOR YOUR FRIEND

    we all of humanity we are all the same ONE GOD FOR ALL we just call him by a different name

    February 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. YOUR NEIGHBOR YOUR FRIEND

    FINALLY! ITS NOT JUST A BLACK THING! FOCUS PEOPLE A BLACK MAN STARTED SLAVERY AND THATS THE FACT JACK.

    February 23, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • the truth is the truth

      this actually is a fact...also whites were slave much longer many times over throughout history...
      When it boils down to human right we all deserve those, and as a world leader americans should have a high standard in civility,
      Unfortunately many of these blacks(not all) believeI(due to their insecure ego)that they are the white mans burden, and therefore our enemy,
      Some of them want "special" treatment, and amnesty from their hostility against the caucasians, and other persuasionas. As well as an undeserving respsect from everyone not black... yet want to fiercly maintain their own community.
      Thats called a social pariah folks....and please dont respond to the truth if you're angry, since your hostility will just show your true colors.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. scranton

    Truly a remarkable piece of history, so glad it will be cared for.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mary Greeley

    That is the prefect first donation to this musem. One thing I learned while living in Virginia, and having many friends who were black...God is truly important to them!! They smile with joy, from the Lord who has given them life!!! God bless the person who has given this priceless gift to the museum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |