The International African American Museum will soon open in Charleston, South Carolina, at one of the country’s most historically significant slave trading ports.
Overlooking the sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf, at which an estimated 45% of enslaved Africans entered America, the museum houses exhibits and artifacts exploring how African Americans’ labor and resistance shaped the nation and the world.
It also includes a genealogy research center to help families trace their ancestors from their arrival on American soil.
“Truth sets us free, free to understand, free to respect and free to appreciate the full spectrum of our shared history, free to feel empathy and common purpose, and free to build a stronger future together,” said Joseph Riley, former Mayor of Charleston, North Carolina speaking at the opening ceremony on Saturday.
More than 23 years in the making, the museum had been originally set to open in 2020, but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as issues in the supply chain of materials needed to complete construction.