Time Running Out for Black-History Collection
Oprah? Tyler Perry? Anyone? We know somebody out there has a few hundred thousand dollars to spare and an enough of an interest in African-American history to purchase this rare collection and keep it intact.
According to CNN, Nathaniel Montague spent 50 years collecting the set of books, photographs, paintings and other African-America memorabilia, but he overextended himself with loans to pay for archiving and housing and had to file for bankruptcy. His creditor has granted him six months to find a buyer, but so far no one has stepped up to purchase the collection, which includes slave and indentured-servitude documents; a signed copy of Phillis Wheatley's "Poems on Various Subjects," dated 1773; and a handwritten letter from Booker T. Washington seeking financial assistance for 221 students at Tuskegee.
If the 8,000-piece set has to be sold piecemeal, Montague says, it will break his heart. It will also break up a one-of-a-kind representation of the history of black people in the United States.