Sharing the International African American Museum with the Upstate


Rendering of the International African American Museum | Photo provided

Have you heard of the International African American Museum? If you haven’t, the museum is currently under construction in Charleston + plans to open in 2022.

The museum will have a major impact on the state, as it will allow visitors to connect to their ancestors and demonstrate how enslaved Africans and free Black individuals shaped the nation economically, politically + culturally.

Interested in learning more? Today, on the anniversary of the signing of the 13th amendment, the Greenville is having an International African American Museum Upstate Day to showcase the museum to the Upstate community. If you want to attend in person, head over to the Greenville One Center at 11 a.m. (but make sure to RSVP first). If you can’t make it — don’t worry — you can watch the event live here.

The event, in partnership with Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Initiative, will also feature Mayor Knox White and President + CEO of the museum Dr. Tonya M. Matthews as speakers.

Here are some of the most unique + interesting facts about the museum:

According to the museum’s mission, “It is likely that all African Americans can trace an ancestor who arrived through Charleston,” and because of this, the museum will have the Center for Family History — a special research center that will allow visitors to trace their genealogy.

The museum is located at Gadsden’s Wharf (near the SC Aquarium), which was the primary wharf for slave ships arriving in Charleston. The IAAM will feature an African Ancestors Memorial Garden, which will be situated on the ground level, and will highlight the original shoreline — the exact spot where so many captive Africans first set foot in America.

You can also take a virtual tour.

The International African American Museum will be vital to preserving the history of so many African American South Carolinians and we’re already planning our road trip to Charleston for when it opens next year.

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