Copeland African American Museum Collection
Scope and Contents
In 1989, Roy Copeland informed his wife, Cheryl, that he did not wish to select a gift for Christmas. Rather than doing this she decided to surprise him! For Christmas that year, she presented him with a seasonally wrapped box. Inside the box, to his surprise, was a set of autographed Muhammad Ali boxing gloves. This expression of love for her husband, led to a labor of love from that Christmas forward. Each year, Cheryl selected a unique piece of memorabilia for Roy. He then parlayed those gifts into a larger collection. The Copelands continued collecting African American memorabilia by attending live auctions, as well as participating in various online auctions. The collection has been featured at various universities, including the University of Georgia Law School during Black History Month.
In 2016, the Copelands chose to gift their entire African American collection to The Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business at Valdosta State University. Dean Wayne Plumly realized this collection deserved a place where it could be permanently displayed. He found space in Thaxton Hall to house the collection. Mrs. Ashley Braswell, Director of Development of the College of Business, orchestrated the design of the museum space. Dean Plumly, Mrs. Braswell and the Copelands have curated and organized the collection for the Copeland African American Museum. The official grand opening was November 1, 2019.
Located at Valdosta State University’s Thaxton Hall, this collection has 75 pieces of memorabilia spanning 150 years that are rotated through display in the museum.
Scroll down to and select Digital Objects to access electronic links about the collection.
Biographical / Historical
Roy W. Copeland is an Associate Professor of Management at the Valdosta State University Harry Langdale,Jr. College of Business Administration.
Some items are on dispaly at the museum at Thaxton Hall.
- Aaron, Hank, 1934-2021
- African Americans
- Ali, Muhammad, 1942-2016
- American literature--African American authors
- Belafonte, Harry, 1927-
- Bluford, Guion Stewart, 1942-
- Bowman, James
- Bradley, Tom, 1917-1998
- Bunche, Ralph J. (Ralph Johnson), 1904-1971
- Carver, George Washington,1864?-1943
- Civil Rights -- United States
- Civil war--America--History--19th century
- Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895
- Drew, Charles, 1904-1950
- Garvey, Marcus, 1887-1940
- Gaye, Marvin
- Gibson, Althea, 1927-2003
- Haley, Alex
- Henson, Matthew Alexander, 1866-1955
- Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967
- Jackson, Maynard, 1938-2003
- King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
- Marshall, Thurgood, 1908-1993
- McGee, Charles
- Owens, Jesse, 1913-1980
- Robinson, Ernie, 1932-
- Slave records
- Slavery--United States
- Slavery--United States
- Tuskegee Airmen
- Walker, C. J., Madam, 1867-1919
- Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915
- Young, Andrew, 1932-
- In Progress
- Douglas Carlson, Dawn Renner
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note