New York Times: International African American Museum Sets Opening for June After Sudden Delay
By Zachary Small
The museum in Charleston, S.C., devoted to the forced journey of millions of Africans through the Middle Passage, has been on pause due to problems during building.
On Tuesday, the much-delayed International African American Museum in Charleston, S.C., announced a new opening date for the institution — June 27 — and officials have their fingers crossed that this date will stick.
The museum was due to open in January, on the weekend after Martin Luther King’s birthday, but those plans were scrapped in December when officials recognized problems with the center’s humidity and temperature controls. Those issues have been resolved, according to Tonya M. Matthews, the museum’s president and chief executive.
“We have had a year’s worth of doors opening and closing doors,” Matthews said in an interview, explaining how the museum tested its climate controls to ensure its permanent collection of 300 artworks and historical artifacts would be protected from Charleston’s notoriously high heat and humidity.
The $120 million project, which has been underway for more than 20 years, is devoted to telling the story of the Middle Passage, the journey that began in Africa with the capture of millions of Africans who were forced to cross the Atlantic to Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, S. C., and other ports. The museum is located on the site of that former wharf, overlooking Charleston Harbor, where many enslaved Africans first entered the United States. Remnants of the wooden wharf were found by archaeologists in 2014 during an exploratory dig for the museum site.
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