Crosby Archives Fundraising Campaign Ends with a Bang!

Cameron Miller presents Kofi Khemet, the director of The Crosby Archives with a check for $500 from the Kent State Black Alumni.

We held our first event for the Crosby Archives on September 3rd, 2022. It took a massive effort on everyone’s part, including three of my daughters. They came from the ends of the earth to give their grandfather a proper send off and to be here for the Crosby Archives first public event.

Fifty people gathered on the grounds of the Crosby Archives & Cultural Gardens on a warm September day, in Kent, Ohio. There were many people who wanted to come, that couldn’t make it. A number of people made donations, in cash or in kind, to the archives, particularly those who couldn’t make it.

We set a goal to raise $5,000 between the end of August and the beginning of October. Our fundraising efforts fell short of our original goal, but we did manage to raise $3,000 that we can use as seed money to take the archives to the next phase.

Mom and I both caught COVID back in November of 2021. I recovered within a few weeks, but mom’s road to recovery was much longer. After dad was cremated last year we deposited most of his ashes in  Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. But, we held back some of his ashes to be deposited at the Crosby Homestead and some will be taken to Africa, by one of my sisters. So, we knew from the get go that we wanted to invite people over when we deposited dad’s ashes in the earth. We did not know how challenging that was going to be.

Before mom and I took ill I spent a lot of time gathering information for our next publication, on the story of Black History Month. It took a lot of late nights and a lot of time sitting in place over a number of months, which really took a toll on my body. What brought me back to life was caring for my mother and preparing for the Crosby Family Gathering this summer.

From July 4th weekend all the way up to the very last moment, right before the event would take place, we worked on preparing the grounds of the cultural gardens and the stage. I couldn’t have done it by myself. Lots of people were involved in pulling off this successful event. I’d like to give a special shoutout to my daughters Nefertiti, Nehanda and Isoke, they were here for a week and played a crucial role in pulling off the event.

Our fundraising campaign started a week before the event and ended yesterday with our 2nd biggest donation of $500 from the Kent State Black Alumni Chapter. We appreciate all of our donors, volunteers and supporters. By this time next year The Crosby Archives & Cultural Gardens will be a full fledged 501(c)(3) tasked with the archiving of our local Black history.

This project began over 60 years ago when my parents first got together, because my mother saves everything and dad was extremely well organized. Mom documented a lot of what happened at Kent with her photography, while dad wrote letters, memos and books. The two of them were a real tag team duo. Their marriage lasted for 65 years and the entire affair is well documented. But, the Crosby Archives is not all about the Crosby family, it’s about providing a permanent home for the documents that tell our story and making them accessible to all interested parties, online and/or in person.

During the COVID lockdown we recorded the stories of 80 individuals and plan to continue recording more stories of former Kent State students, faculty and staff. The donations we’ve collected so far will be used to establish the non-profit status of the archives, so we can begin applying for grant monies to renovate the archives and begin the work of editing videotaped interviews, lectures and presentations on the Blakfacts website and the website of the Crosby Archives, once it’s established.

If you’ve got a story to tell, let us know. This project is dedicated to telling the story of everyday people, like the ones Sly Stone talked about in that 60’s classic “Every Day People.”

Published by kkhemet

My name is Mr. Khemet coming at you live, with no jive. I come from the east with knowledge and wisdom of an ancient kind. If you hear my words, it's time to change your mind about a lot of things. I make what I need and I need what I make, hopefully you'll enjoy some of the things you see here at my site.

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