New African American museum to feature Montgomery County community

The small community has a big impact -- it will be featured in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The National Museum of African American History & Culture will feature a Montgomery County community.

"My grandfather's property is right down the road, " Suzanne Johnson said.

Walking down the streets of Sugarland, Johnson and Gwen Reese are overwhelmed with fond memories. The rural community, located in what is now Poolesville, was home to dozens of black-working families.

It was a vibrant community with the iconic Saint Paul Community Church, its own school, even a general store. And once the National of Museum of African American History and Culture opens in late September, more people will be introduced to it.

"This lays a foundation for blacks in general. Not just Blacks, but it forms a bond," Reeese said. "A lot of times, people will turn from their past."

Seven pictures from the town will be on permanent display at the museum. One of the pictures includes Johnson's mother when she was a girl. She's 94 now.

"I am overjoyed,” Johnson said. “It’s been a long time coming and they need to know how we lived.”

The photos give a glimpse into the life of a local black town after slavery and shows how African Americans created a new way of life.

Reese and Johnson hope Sugarland's contribution to the museum highlights the rich history of African Americans and evokes a sense of pride.


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