Historical Society hosting presentation on International African American Museum

3 mins read

The Beaufort County Historical Society, in partnership with the Beaufort District Collection of the Beaufort Library, will host a special presentation on Thursday, Jan. 23, on the International African American Museum (IAAM), now being built in Charleston.

The speaker will be Bernard Powers, PhD., Professor Emeritus at the College of Charleston, currently serving as the interim CEO and President of the IAAM and the College’s Center for the Study of Slavery. The lecture will be given at the downtown library, beginning at noon. Seating is limited, and doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

The International African American Museum has been in the planning and fundraising stages for nearly 20 years. A $92 million dollar project, it will be located at Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, where nearly half the enslaved Africans arrived in America. Support for the project has come from individuals, organizations, and governments from across South Carolina, the United States, and worldwide according to Dr. Elijah Heyward, the Chief Operating Officer for the Museum and a native of Beaufort.

The Museum will include exhibits tracing African American history from Africa to North America and the Caribbean, from slavery to the present day.

Tracing their contributions to South Carolina and American history, it will tell the story of African Americans’ life and culture, including that of the Gullah and Geechee people.

The Museum will be a center for genealogical research and recording space for oral histories, connecting individuals to their own history and linking with others. There will also be changing exhibits looking at contemporary issues affecting the African American experience.

In his talk, Dr. Powers will discuss the background and goals of the museum and explain how the Museum and the Center for the Study of Slavery are eager to work with other museums and historic sites across the state, such as those in Beaufort, to expand our understanding of the black experience in our state, our nation, and the larger Atlantic world.


What: Lecture on the International African American Museum by Bernard Powers, Professor Emeritus, College of Charleston

When: Noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23

Where: Beaufort County Public Library, Beaufort Branch

Cost: Free and open to the public. Seating is limited, and doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

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