The Tubman Museum is a cultural destination in Macon, Georgia that focuses on the history, culture, and art of African Americans. The museum includes art collections from African artists, works by African Americans, inventions by Africans, and music by African Americans. The museum offers free admission, tours of new exhibitions, and games inside. The museum’s education coordinator, Jarmiah Walker, says the museum has been around since 1981.
The museum’s facade is clad in edo, a rich golden color that blends with Georgia’s red clay soil. The color is a recurrent motif in African and Caribbean architecture, as well as in African American art. The center of the museum is topped with a ribbed copper dome inspired by BaLuba masks, traditional African ceremonial headdresses.
Another place to visit in Macon is the Cannonball House, a building with Greek Revival architecture and furnishings that were used by the founders of one of the world’s oldest sororities. The city also has a local brewery, the Macon Beer Company, which is home to creative recipes and a charming tasting room.
Ponder has served as president of the Macon City Council and director of education at the Tubman African American Museum. The museum is the largest of its kind in the Southeast. She also serves on the board of the Georgia Coalition of Black Women and the Newtown Macon Foundation. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Rotary International.
The Tubman Museum’s $19 million structure was completed in stages, beginning in 2002 and finishing in 2008. During the financial crisis, the construction was put on hold, but a special local option sales tax of $2.5 million provided the funds needed to restart the project. Throughout construction, workers uncraped artwork that had been stored in the museum’s basement. One particular sculpture in the balcony sculpture gallery, “Mr. Imagination,” by Gregory Warmack, was displayed on a balcony.