Money Love

February 27, 2017

By Sherry Mazzocchi, Manhattan Times

Jackie Robinson stealing home plate in the 1955 World Series. Duke Ellington at his piano. Nine black children escorted by 101st Airborne Division on their way to school.

These are just some of the 41 commemorative coins and medals on display in a new exhibit curated by the online Museum of Uncut Funk. The collection, entitled “For the Love of Money,” is currently on display at the Museum of American Finance until January 2018.

“The 41 objects represent indelible milestones in black history,” said Loreen Williamson.

Williamson and Pamela Thomas, co-founders of the Museum of Uncut Funk, said that they were both surprised to find out how many people of color were represented on coins and medals.

“Everybody is very excited about 2020 when Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marian Anderson and Sojourner Truth are being added to paper currency,” said Williamson. “But I don’t think people know that there are significant numbers of African American black history heroes as well as key events in history and key institutions that have touched black history that are currently commemorated on coins, medals and medallions. I didn’t know that.”

The objects on display are history lessons in miniature. A 1999 New Jersey state quarter depicts Washington crossing the Delaware in a boat crowded with soldiers, rowed by a black slave. It was the first American coin in circulation depicting a black person...

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