Citizens Want Excellence at IAAM

In a recent letter to the editor printed in the Post and Courier, Carol Ezell-Gilson asked why a project of the International African American Museum’s magnitude has gone unquestioned. The city is spending millions on a project to illuminate African American history with limited involvement of the African American community itself.

The president and Chief Executive Officer of the International African American Museum was removed at the time the city was signing contracts to begin the construction of the core and shell. What about the interior buildout, including exhibits that apparently remain unfunded?

A limited archaeological investigation was undertaken on one of the country’s most significant historic sites related to African American history and the trans Atlantic slave trade. The enclosed photographs illustrate that the site, believed by many to be sacred, is being ravaged by the construction of cofferdams and the removal of earth below the historic surface of Gadsden’s Wharf. It is comparable to strip mining the Gettysburg Battlefield. Yet, there has been no serious investigative reporting of the entire project that has spent millions of tax dollars and is under the control of a nonfunctioning board whose members include the former mayor of Charleston, the current mayor and members of the city council.

What is it about Charleston that allows this to happen while in any other community it would be viewed as intolerable?


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