International African American Museum president and CEO reflects on role
By: Elizabeth Bush
“It’s not an easy load to bear. Tell the story of the African American journey in the United States from the beginning. The whole story. In a way that sensitively exposes the truth of the darkness of slavery, but also celebrates the resilience and achievements of a people determined to rise above their circumstances to find hope and joy.
When Dr. Tonya Matthews accepted the role of president/CEO of the new, highly anticipated Charleston International African American Museum (IAAM) in March of 2021, she knew the task would be monumental.
“I like to call it a weighty privilege,” said Matthews. “… Even when the idea was first circulating, it was just an extraordinary idea, such a big idea, such a heavy lift. You want a place like Charleston. It was growing and in its own kind of rebirth and renaissance, and you want it to fit into all of that … but it’s also a national museum … and then, you want to tell the full story. You want to put it in the international context because Charleston is an international city. African American history is an international tale — and you want to do all of that in 100,000 square feet.”
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AND DON’T FORGET DR. MATHEWS WILL BE THE GUEST SPEAKER AT THE FEBRUARY 15 DIHS MEETING….7 pm, Church of the Hioly Cross, 299 Seven Farms Drive. CLICK HERE FOR MORE