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Making History

Making History
What's in store for Charleston's International African American Museum

You’ve heard that plans are moving forward on a $75-million museum that will attempt to wrap its arms around African-American history, highlighting the role of Charleston. It is believed that 882 slave ships docked here in the 18th and 19th centuries, delivering some 260,000 people—40 percent of the Africans brought to the current United States.

Many of those men, women, and children arrived at Gadsden’s Wharf on the Cooper River, and it’s there, near the S.C. Aquarium, that the International African American Museum (IAAM) will open in 2018. To honor the historic wharf, the city and the IAAM will work with the National Park Service to plan a reinterpretation of the grounds currently known as Liberty Square. Inside the 42,300-square-foot museum, exhibits designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (known for its work at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and more) will convey the journey of Africans from Africa to slavery in the U.S., from the Civil Rights Movement to today.

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