Fullerton Museum Center Re-Opens newest exhibit ‘Have Blues, Will Travel’

July 21, 2021

The Fullerton Museum Center is excited to welcome the community back to its re-opening with its newest exhibit “Have Blues, Will Travel." Opening Night is slated for Saturday, July 24, with a reception from 6 pm to 9 p.m. and will feature live music by Sista Jean's Blues Machine. 

This high-energy act is led by Jean McClain aka Pepper Mashay, an American soul, house, and dance music singer-songwriter who has had success as a touring and studio performer, as well as a session player for such luminaries as Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, Cher, Lenny Kravitz, and more. Admission is free to past museum members; $20 for adults and $10 for children 5 to 18 years old for non-members. While the event will evoke a festive atmosphere, CDC Covid-19 guidelines will still be maintained.

“Have Blues, Will Travel” is based on the Negro Motorist Green Book (or simply Green Book) published from 1936-1966 to aid Black motorists during the Jim Crow era. Many blues musicians found safe places to lodge, dine, and perform by referencing the Green Book. Since Black artists were not paid royalties on their songs in the way Caucasian musicians were, touring was among the only ways to make money from their music. However, moving about the country as a Black person, especially in the American south, was incredibly dangerous. On the road, they were faced with segregation laws everywhere they went; intense prejudice; and even violence in some cases.

In popular culture, the well-received 2018 film "Green Book", directed by Peter Farrelly, garnered critical praise and proceeded to win numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Picture. Although this cinematic gem is informative, it leaves out several details about discrimination against Black people during the Great Migration and emphasized a white savior narrative. With the usage of artifacts, photographs, and songs, "Have Blues Will Travel" encapsulates the true struggle that Black blues musicians faced and illustrates that the Green Book was much more than a travel guide, but more of a lifesaving tool. 

The "Have Blues Will Travel" exhibit was created in partnership with the National Blues Museum and graduate students from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and will be on view at the Fullerton Museum Center for the Summer of 2021.

Due to reduced funding as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the museum will be operating on a modified schedule. Gallery and Gift Shop hours are as follows:

Thursdays: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Fridays: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Saturdays: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.,

Gallery Admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for children 5 through 18 years of age. Visit fullertonmuseum.com for updates and more information.


Greer's OC
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Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

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