Staten Island woman owns 50K artifacts of African-American history –

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- With Black History Month here, one Staten Islander showcased her artifacts of African-American history.

Elizabeth Meaders, a Staten Island resident, was the subject of a 1010 Wins report about her massive collection of African-American art which the Advance has previously reported. She has been amassing her art collection for more than 50 years, and it has grown to over 50,000 pieces of historical items, the report says.

In the interview, Meaders referred to herself as a prospector looking for the truth.

Meaders started this path of antique collecting after she traced her familys roots back to the 1700s, the report says.

We are in the history book of Staten and have the unique distinction of being the last slave that was freed on Staten Island during the Civil War era, Meaders told 1010 Wins.

Meaders explained to the 1010 Wins reporter, the William A. Morris Junior High School was named in honor of her grandfather, who was an activist on Staten Island.

Her collection started because of her interest about African-American experiences left out of history books, the report says.

Its like a revelatory kind of an experience that I didnt set out to have, but one I found out that this glorious history, which has been cloaked in mystery was deserving my time and effort, I just made it my lifes work, I just couldnt help myself, she said to 1010 Wins.

The Staten Island Advance reported on her collection in 2007, when she was enlisting the help of Tukufu Zuberi, the host of the PBS show History Detectives, to verify the authenticity of an antique saddle.

The saddle Meaders believed belonged to the rodeo cowboy Bill Pickett, an African-American western hero.

Her collection includes artifacts from slavery, such as an overseer whip, a branding iron, chains, and a list with the names and prices of slaves.

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Staten Island woman owns 50K artifacts of African-American history -

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