African American Historical and Cultural Society

Collaboration Leads to New Home for Historical Society
Posted on 06/10/2024
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The African-American Historical and Cultural Society of Bucks County (AAHCSBC) was in a bind.

The non-profit organization was incorporated in 1993 with a mission to research, document and share information that reflects African-American participation in Bucks County.

For many years the historical society was housed in a trailer that was located on the grounds of the now closed Lafayette Elementary School.

The trailer served as a home base for the AAHCSBC and the treasure trove of African-American historical artifacts, books, artwork and items they preserved over the years. The group used the trailer to host guests and visitors, and to organize and manage their trips to community exhibits and festivals.

When the Bristol Township School District ultimately sold the Lafayette property, the trailer now found itself on the future site of a housing development.

Unfortunately, the years had taken its toll on the trailer.  It was in no condition to be moved and the sealed fate of the trailer was demolition.

The writing on the wall was clear:  the AAHCSBC had to find a new home.

Several attempts and inquiries to find a new location for the group turned out to be fruitless.  The hope for a future home looked somewhat bleak. But then leaders of the Bristol Township School District got together with members of the Board of the AAHCSBC to explore ideas and solutions.

“We really view ourselves as stakeholders and investors in the community,” Board President James Morgan stated.  “We realized and respected the tremendous amount of local history in that trailer, and all the valuable work that the historical society does.  We did not want to see that be lost.”

After a series of discussions, one idea began to emerge as a favorite of both entities.

“Our district administration building has a professional development room,” Morgan shared.  “It is used frequently, but the thought was that with some initiative and ingenuity, we could turn it into a venue that could be beneficial to both groups.”

And thus, the African-American Historical and Cultural Society Professional Library at BTSD was born.

The room at the district headquarters now serves as a home, resource and living museum for the AAHCSBC.  It is also still able to be used by the district for meetings and workshops.

“It truly enhances our connection to the community,” Morgan added.  “It reminds us of the shared history and values that shape our educational mission.”

The BTSD Operations Team, under the leadership of Assistant Superintendent Chris Polzer and Operations Manager Mike Cox, were key to making this idea come to fruition.  Cox’s staff assisted the AAHCSBC in clearing out the trailer and moving their items and artifacts to their new home, and then setting up the professional library.

“We truly see this as a valuable addition to our community outreach program and our educational offerings,” Polzer stated.  “There is so much history in that room. We envision our students making trips and visits to the professional library, and it being a tremendous learning resource for the district.”

From the AAHCSBC’s perspective, it has been a remarkable transition to go from the bleakness of losing their trailer to settling into their new home.

“We are so appreciative and grateful to the Board and school district for their ingenuity, hospitality and assistance,” Board member Juanita Tiggett-Slaton stated.  “We are blessed to have a new showcase for our books and collections, and look forward to sharing our history with the community and the greater world.”

The AAHCSBC will host an opening celebration of the new African-American Historical and Cultural Society Professional Library on Saturday, June 29 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the BTSD administration building, 5 Blue Lake Road, Levittown.  For more information, the organization’s website can be found at and they can be reached at [email protected].

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