Community members express concerns over the International African American Museum

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A number of citizens came together on July 15 to discuss their concerns with the building of the International African American Museum.

This press conference was started by the group Citizens Want Excellence, who is trying to spread the word of what exactly is going on with the museum with the public.

The concerns of the citizens varied from topics such as: why the location of the museum had to be on decaying ground and why they felt like their voices haven’t been heard as of yet.

Their main concern, however, is that the museum is focusing on the history of African Americans as enslaved people and not on their other contributions to society.

“They want to perpetuate the notion that it begins in the 17th century with enslavement and, in fact, it begins eons of time before that alright with great accomplishments that African people were responsible for and we want that to be well known and understood. Unless we stop that building before it begins then they will have solidified the wrong story.”

Dr. Wilmot Fraser, Citizens Want Excellence

They say that they’ve been trying to do right by African and African American history and voicing these exact concerns since 2003.

One of the next steps towards accomplishing their goal is to get the museum’s building contract deferred.

“We’re asking that any action on that contract be deferred, so that they can not begin to build this museum, which will simply solidify a mental enslavement for many African American people and other people in the United States and in the local community,” Dr. Wilmot said about why they feel getting the contract deferred is important.

The Charleston City Council will discuss the building contract at their next meeting on July 16.

These concerned citizens say that they plan on attending the meeting and hope that, not only they can get the contract deferred, but finally have their voices heard.

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