Monday, February 8, 2021

7 Questions with Terri Lipsey Scott, Executive Director of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum


Terri Lipsey Scott moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1981. She served as a city administrator for 37 years, and now serves as the Executive Director of the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. She is an active community advocate for equity and fairness.

 1.      How and/or when did you get you hooked on history?

A native of Savannah, Georgia, history piqued my interest when studying the life of Harriet Tubman in grade school, and her tenacity as the conductor of the underground railroad.  I decided after reading her courageous story, I too wanted to lead, direct and deliver my people from injustices with the knowledge of what was available for their deliverance.

2.      What role does history play or has it played in your personal life?

Heroines like Harriet Tubman, Shirley Chisholm, Amelia Robinson, Daisy Bates, Claudette Colvin impressed upon me, and motivated me into believing that change can only occur if you have courage to make it so. Always wanting to be a change agent for justice, those previously mentioned provided me the courage to persevere.  
Dr. Carter G. Woodson

3.      How will history play  a part of your professional life/career?

As stated, history has shaped my life and decisions made as a professional. Those in history became my role models for who I wanted to become and the change I wanted see for my people,

4.      Why is studying/knowing history important?

My favorite quote is that of Dr. Carter G. Woodson: "If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated." My mantra - my truth.

5.      What is your favorite period or aspect of history to learn about and why?

The survival of the Black race from Africa to America.  The story of African Americans is complex, comprehensive, and calculated. It's a story of submission, survival, and success. The story is ever evolving with many twists and turns - but always - African American people RISE.

6.      What is the mission of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum?

The mission of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is to preserve, present, interpret and celebrate African /American history all while bringing together all races, creeds and cultures to become students of untold African American contributions,

7.      What can visitors expect when they visit the museum?  

Since March of 2020 due to COVID19, the Woodson has remained closed.  Our programming has all been moved to a virtual platform. The installation of Florida's first Black Lives Matter street mural is the welcoming mat and the museum's outdoor exhibition.  The mural has become a tourist destination for folks from far and near and we encourage the participation and engagement of all without the travel -  through our virtual programming until we open again.    The museum will always have on display the work of talented artists, a library filled with African American authors and curated stories by staff.  The Woodson also has the most beautiful Legacy garden anchored by oaks of more than 100 years.