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Ralph Hunter is director of the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey in Buena Vista Township. Hunter will take the museum’s traveling exhibit to about 20 schools during February, his busiest month of the year.
Ralph Hunter, and other people dedicated to preserving history and making it accessible to others played a big role in Nelson Johnson’s work.
Nelson Johnson is the author of two books on Atlantic City history – “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Northside” – the latter published last year to detail the history of the town’s black community.
Johnson calls Hunter “the rare combination of entertaining storyteller and serious historical curator.”
The author especially credits Hunter for preserving and even rescuing countless “documents, artifacts and photos” – including boxes of the papers of C. Morris Cain, a minister in the city’s black Northside neighborhood. Cain became a central figure in Johnson’s book after Hunter shared that collection with the author. By the Johnson’s telling, those precious papers were headed for a trash dump until Hunter stepped in and “saved (them) from destruction.”
So, Johnson adds, “I am deeply indebted to him. … My work as a historian would not be possible without people like Ralph Hunter.”