“I Rise”: Reflections on the International African American History Museum
No matter their personal history, each departed with a wealth of insight and a challenge to continue learning about the African American experience. Located at historic Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina, where many African Americans first arrived in this country, the IAAM shines a well-deserved spotlight on artistic contributions, cultural traditions and groundbreaking research given to us by African Americans. It uses large-scale digital media to show the beauty of the African American story, offering a modern take on centuries of tragedy and triumph.
As they walked through the exhibits, team members found themselves moved to tears by the personal stories shared. Several shared their reflections on what they gained by visiting this historic place of remembrance.
While touring the museum, I found myself drawn to watching other visitors. Our impactful stories seemed to have a profound effect on them, and I was able to witness them sit with their emotions. I believe they were able to feel a little bit of what Black people have always felt. They realized how the horrors of slavery impacted not people of another race, but their fellow humans. – Sedrick McCallum, Community Development Officer The IAAM is incredibly curated and beautifully done. The space itself has a very sacred presence, one that beckons you to tread lightly and respectfully. The stories, images, artifacts, and flow are emotionally impacting. There was one artifact, that for me that I simply can’t shake, the story of Rose and her daughter Ashley ... These stories go on and on. There is so much to take in, being there for a little over an hour was simply not enough time. – Jamie Kerr, Director of Commercial Administration
The International African American Museum is an amazing learning journey of an African culture that was brought to America through the captivity of slave ships. The IAAM is beautifully designed and contains many images and artifacts that support a powerful story of people’s survival. It is without a doubt an emotional experience. If you are visiting Charleston, I encourage you to take the time to experience the IAAM. – Dena Kapperman, Senior Communications Manager
Learn more about the IAAM, special programming and upcoming exhibits.
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