"The exhibits on the mustard-colored walls are monuments to the triumph and the oppression of Hannibal's black community. Dant called on residents to lend their photos, clothing, books and papers to the project. As a result the faces of Hannibal residents fill the room. There are collages of candid photos-the faces of schoolgirls, newlyweds, soldiers, weathered old men-each one meaningful in its own way. Dant made an effort to showcase prominent members of the black community, which include Olympic athlete George Poage and Hiawatha Crow, the first black person elected to the Hannibal City Council."
Traveling with Twain
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
"Opened in 2013, the center plays an important role in the Hannibal story, as it was Jim, Twain's written creation, whose character and life is in part based on a real slave from Hannibal named Daniel Quarles. In fact, Jim's story is significant in that, according to representatives of the center, "It is the first African-American character portrayed by a white person as a full-fledged human being, no longer a caricature, but a human, a husband and a father."
The story of Jim and his family is also the story of how from the 19th to the 21st centuries, both African-American slaves and free people lived in Hannibal and the surrounding area. It's also an example of Twain's deep connection with all peoples, lifestyles and socioeconomic conditions of the day, which have garnered his writings so much international appeal.
The center, situated in an old stone house thought to have been built by slaves, is chock full of photos, memorabilia, clothing, historical documents and other items relative to Hannibal's African-American community over the past several generations."
New York Amsterdam News
New York, NY
"Behind the legend of Mark Twain stands an entire community. Hannibal natives know that much. But within the community of Hannibal lies an oft-forgotten subculture, that of the African-American population of America's Hometown.
A prodigal daughter of Hannibal, Faye Dant, seeks to shine a spotlight on that history through the Hannibal Project."
The Quincy Herald Whig
"Be sure to add the Huck Finn Freedom Center; Jim's Journey to your agenda on your next visit to Hannibal. This town has done much to preserve the history of an era and favorite son Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Now we have an opportunity to learn more about Samuel Clemens, the humanitarian."
Kathlyn Fares, Missouri Humanities Council
St. Louis, MO
"A treasure trove of little known facts about the lives of Hannibal's African American community."
"Hannibal has long been home to everything Twain, real and fictional - Mark Twain's Boyhood Home and Museum, the Tom and Huck Statue, the Becky Thatcher House, the Huck Finn Home, the Mark Twain Cave and the Injun Joe Campground - but there's been no memorial to Jim until now."
Hannibal African American Life & History Project