Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Lia T. Bascomb

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa Shannon

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Wilson


Exhibiting historical atrocities within museums has become commonplace. While scholarship does exist on the memorialization of trauma, current research does not explore how the lived experiences of African American visitors in combination with historical and racial trauma may impact their perceptions of exhibition content, and to a greater extent, their overall museum experience. The purpose of this study was to investigate if visits to museums that interpret slavery and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement trigger emotional reactions and/or traumatic memories in African American visitors. Utilizing interviews and surveys from museum staff and visitors, this collective case study of three Atlanta-area museums sought to better understand the interpretative approaches selected by each site, and the differences, if any, amongst African American visitor experiences at traditional, contemporary, and Afrocentric museums in Georgia.


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Available for download on Friday, April 26, 2024