The museum staff identified 36 must see items at the museum, in addition to the

Tuskegee Airmen’s Plane, here are a seven of the 36 that stood out to us.

Blood-stained map from “Bleeding Kansas” era.

In the years before the Civil War, the slaveholding Southern states sought for control of the federal government, in part by attempting to ensure that new states added to the union would be open to slavery. In Kansas, in the 1850s, that led to violent clashes between pro- and anti-slavery settlers. This blood-stained map was owned by the abolitionist David Starr Hoyt, who was murdered by slavery partisans in 1856.

“Mammy” and “Chef” pair of salt and pepper shakers

During the segregation era, caricatures of African Americans were an ubiquitous part of American life that ornamented household items, from candleholders to coin banks to these salt and pepper shakers, made in the 1950s.

Charleston “slave badge”

Slaveholders could earn money by hiring their slaves out as workers. A slave badge identified the slave by his or her profession and the date.

Shards of glass and shotgun shell from 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL

The church was a flash point in the nonviolent struggle for rights in Birmingham, and in September 1963, it became a site of martyrdom as well. Dynamite planted by members of the Ku Klux Klan tore through the church on a Sunday morning, killing four girls and injuring more than 20 others. These remnants memorialize a turning point for the civil rights movement.

Stoneware storage jar by Dave the Potter

Slaves were rarely allowed to learn to read or write, so the things they made were seldom identified with the name of a craftsman. Dave the Potter, who lived in South Carolina, was an exception, and this pot is marked with his name and the date of its creation, 1852.

Silk-lace-and-linen shawl given to Harriet Tubman by Queen Victoria

Harriet Tubman, born a slave, became a leader of the Underground Railroad, a Union spy during the Civil War and later a suffragist for women’s rights. Among her admirers was Queen Victoria, who gave her this silk-lace-and-linen shawl.

Wrought-iron slave collar, lock and key

The roughly hewn iron of this restraint emphasizes the harsh realities of the slave trade. It was probably used to chain enslaved African-American men to each other as they were moved from one place to another.