About the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey
Ralph Hunter Sr.
RALPH HUNTER- FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF AAHM
"Folks used to come to my house and say, This place looks like a museum. And that's where the idea came from. I had this quest for collecting just for me. Then, all of a sudden, something came over me and I thought, How dare you collect all of this just for yourself? You could share all of this."
- Ralph E. Hunter, Sr., Museum Founder
Founded by Ralph E. Hunter, Sr. and supported by a coalition of area businesses, education professionals, collectors and community residents, the African American Heritage Museum has sprung from a dream. Over thirty years ago, Mr. Hunter began a personal collection of African American cultural, artistic, and media images that inspired the museum. It started with a discovery in a North Carolina antique shop. Tucked away in the back was an original edition of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman. "I bought it to take it off the market," Mr. Hunter says. But his goal was not to hide it - just the opposite. His dream was to display it in an effort to preserve history and transform his treasures into an exhibit. After more than three decades of acquiring pieces, the collection now numbers in the thousands, and Mr. Hunter is committed to sharing it with others.