The History of Diving Museum in the Florida Keys this past weekend opened a new exhibit that looks at underwater archaeology focused on African Americans.
The museum partnered with Diving With a Purpose (DWP) and the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) for the opening of the new Featured Exhibit, “Restoring Our Oceans, Preserving Our Heritage!” The evening included a chance to meander through the exhibit, a ribbon-cutting reception and presentations.
The new exhibit looks at underwater archaeology and how it has been used to understand cultural and historical significance and stories behind shipwrecks and more. Diving With a Purpose is a non-profit focused on the African-American component of these stories. The underwater sites on display range from sailing vessels to slave ships to the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.
Sunday evening activities included two speakers. NASA engineer Erik Densen spoke on his involvement with the DWP organization from its beginnings in 2004 plus the various projects they have worked on with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, National Park Service, NOAA, and others that helped put this exhibit together.
The second speaker was archaeologist Dr. Justin Dunnavant who has also worked closely with DWP and the research associated with African American history in relation to the archaeological sites.
The exhibit will be on display through December 31st, 2019 with a bunch of events and special presentations. Some include: Dive Into History Weekend (June 15-16) with a Saturday morning event at the Museum and an afternoon dive/marine scavenger hunt at Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventure; free admission for dads on Father’s Day; celebrating PADI Women Dive Day on July 20 with a morning presentation at the Museum from Keys local Karuna Eberl as she discusses her award-winning documentary “The Guerrero Project” covering the 1827 slave ship that sank off the Florida coast. The afternoon includes a Heritage Awareness dive with Sailfish Scuba in Key Largo.
Special presentations and dive trips will continue throughout 2019, so you’ll want to stay up to date on social media and at DivingMuseum.org/Featured-Exhibit.