African American Museum of Philadelphia Celebrates 40 Years

Founded in 1976, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is the first cultural institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans.

Throughout its 40-year history, AAMP has remained committed to telling the story of African Americans from pre-Colonial times to the current day.

“Over the past four decades we understand that we are a touchstone for our region’s cultural landscape,” said its CEO, Patricia Wilson Aden. “We want to ensure that we continue to be the premier destination offering a unique perspective on African American art, history and culture — and also that of the African Diaspora.

“This is an important and broad mission,” she said. “One thing that we have been doing for the past 18 to 24 months is looking at how we want to realize that mission. We even came up with a new mission statement that I think is reflects our energy.

“Our new mission statement says specifically that we are bringing diverse communities together in greater appreciation of a Black experience. We talked a lot about the words and the approach that we wanted to use and we came to the conclusion that we are unapologetically Black. We are celebrating the Black experience, in that positive Black experience is what we want present not only to the African-American community, but all communities because everyone has something to learn,” Aden said.

“African-American history is American history. African-American art and culture is American art and culture. Those people that need to appreciate, understand and be educated about that is very expansive — and that’s what we’ve been trying to do,” she added.

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Source: Philadelphia Tribune | Bobbi Booker