A new International African-American Museum opened in Charleston, South Carolina Tuesday, on a site overlooking Gadsden's Wharf, through which perhaps half the enslaved Africans brought to America arrived.
The 150,000-square-foot museum has exhibits and artifacts exploring how African Americans’ labor, perseverance, resistance and cultures shaped the Carolinas, the nation and the world. It also has a genealogy center to help their descendants trace roots back to Africa where possible.
The museum, planned since 2000 and under construction for the past three years, was the vision of former Mayor Joseph Riley. Among its other features is a large section focusing on the Gullah Geechee people, Africans from the Low Country's coastal islands whose isolation enabled a survival of African ties and a unique language.