Advocates for an African American Museum in Charleston have worked for years on what its focus should be and how it should present that important part of South Carolina’s history.
It would reflect poorly on the whole state if those efforts were scuttled because a short-sighted Legislature fails to provide adequate financial support for the effort. Unfortunately, that’s how things are looking right now. Fortunately, the budgeting process is just beginning.
Planners of the International African American Museum to be near the South Carolina Aquarium have asked the state for $25 million of the $75 million price tag – $12.5 million in the coming year and another $12.5 million the following year.
A subcommittee of the House of Representatives instead allocated only $250,000 – almost as if to demean the project.
Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Charleston, mentioned in an interview with Schuyler Kropf the irony of seeking support when “the NAACP insists on this silly little boycott” over the Confederate battle flag being flown on Statehouse grounds. Legislators can think what they want to about the boycott and the NAACP. But those thoughts should not diminish the significant role that South Carolina played in African American history – and the role that African Americans played in the history South Carolina and beyond.
Indeed, Wilbur Johnson, chairman of the museum’s board, said potential donors around the state and the country do not consider the boycott a factor in their decision.
Source: The Post and Courier