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Black history ‘gap filler’ set to fetch millions at auction

Lifestyle

Black history ‘gap filler’ set to fetch millions at auction

Memorabilia amassed by a former teacher as ‘healing and teaching instruments’ expected to fetch up to R154m

Alicia Powell

A massive personal collection that traces the history of black Americans and ranges from rare civil rights posters to Muhammad Ali’s shoes is set to hit the auction block in late February.

For more than 60 years, 90-year-old former teacher Elizabeth Meaders has amassed the collection that fills her New York home. The items document the African-American experience.

“This collection was designed as a patriotic healing and teaching instrument, and it’s vitally, critically needed because as a further insult to a people, our history was actually left out of the history books of America,” said Meaders, who says she traces her ancestry back to one of the first black families to live on Staten Island...

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