The A. C. McMillan African American Museum is an institution for organizing relevant materials of the African American community within a historical and cultural context. Museums are vehicles that have broad community support and perpetual existence. The McMillan Museum is no exception. The Museum’s development is an indicator of growth on the part of African Americans living in Emory, Texas. It is dedicated to the memory of my father, A. C. McMillan, for his contributions to the education and development of African Americans and other youth in Rains County. At the Museum, the history of the McMillans and the history of African Americans in Rains County may continue to be documented as I write this history and in the years to come.
The general objectives of the A. C. McMillan African American Museum are:
- To serve as a depository for historical and significant events affecting African Americans nationwide;
- To serve as a neutral point and bridge between racial and ethnic groups;
- To instill a sense of identity and pride in African American students; and
- To serve as a leadership development institution for the African American community in and around Rains County.
After the official opening, serious attention has been given to developing a relationship with the Rains County Genealogical Society, The Friends of the Library, The Rains County Historical Society, The East Texas Historical Association, The East Texas Genealogical Association, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Texas Historical Commission and the National Commissions for the Arts and Humanities, and the Rains County Library.
Some of the exhibits that have received many visitors and media coverage are: The Buffalo Soldiers Exhibit, The Negro Baseball Leagues Exhibit, Reconstruction in Texas, and African Americans Featured on Commemorative Postage Stamps. The Dolls of Color Exhibit, The Civil Rights Movement—Brown vs. Board of Education Exhibit, and The Rosenwald Schools in the South, Pioneer African American Families in Rains County, and Jim Crow Racial Stereotypes.
Through the A.C. McMillan African American Museum, the history of the McMillans of Rains County will continue to be documented. Thus, African Americans and non-African Americans will have a venue for studying the accomplishments and the history of African Americans in Rains County in particular, and the United States as a whole.