Posted By Bill Payer on Feb 15, 2022 | 0 comments

The International African American Museum seems destined to be a major asset to Charleston and a magnet for scholars and tourists alike.

Tuesday night at our February DIHS program we had the privilege of a behind the scenes update on the museum and what it will showcase. IAAM CEO/PRESIDENT Tonya Mathews conducted her tour with lots of information, an evident passion for her subject and more than a little humor.

Slide show Dr. Mathews used February 15, 2022

Dr. Mathews points out the museum, with extensive outdoor gardens and displays, is on the site where Gadsden’s Wharf, the disembarkation point of up to 40% of all American slaves, once stood. She stressed that the building and grounds were designed to help tell and reinforce the story rather than calling attention to the architecture….what she called a museum without walls.

She focused on three of nine planned galleries illustrating the Gullah Geechee culture and the role it played in united slaves from different places in Africa, the emergence of rice as an economic engine and the role enslaved African experts in rice cultivation played, and what she called the American Journey.

The museum will also feature unique genealogical resources to meet the challenges of family research into enslaved ancestors.

And perhaps the most important question…WHEN WILL IT OPEN? “LATE 2022” according to Dr. Mathews.

For more info on IAAM, visit their website CLICK HERE

To become a Charter Member CLICK HERE

To volunteer CLICK HERE

There were several exciting announcements before the presentation by Dr. Mathews….we have some events coming up that include a Robert Daniel history cruise on the DI Ferry, a tour of the Venning Cemetery by Fred Lincoln, a tour of the Naval Base and a kids history scavenger hunt. Stay tuned to this website and our other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for details as they become available.

Also, DIHS member Faith White shared some of the church vestments she has made for various AME churches in Downtown Charleston. Ms White and her late husband Henri L. White began Robes of Faith in 1988. To see their website CLICK HERE The gallery below shows some of the robes she shared with us Tuesday night.

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