Dozens came out to the Glass Recreation Center on Saturday to see Marlondos Fields' traveling black history exhibit. The retired Navy veteran spent the last 20 years collecting African-American figurines, artifacts, newspapers, books, sports memorabilia, action figures, comic books and many other items from his travels throughout the U.S. and abroad.
"The first piece I bought was a small figure from a store in Hampton Roads, Virginia," Fields said. "The man I bought it from wrapped it up in this old newspaper from 1862. I put it under my mattress to flatten it out and get the creases out of it."
Parts of his collection have been displayed throughout the community for several months.
Pat Branham, of Tyler, said she came to see the exhibit Saturday because she wanted to take the day to do some cultural things with her daughters and granddaughter because it's Black History Month.
"Black history is American history," she said. "I want to pass this on to my family. It's important that we pass this on and keep it going. If we don't pass on what we know, it dies."
Those in attendance enjoyed games, entertainment, door prizes and live music from the band Kopastetic while they browsed the exhibit.
Fields was on hand to answer questions and talk about the thousands of pieces of his collection he displayed.