African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Growing Number of Museums Preserving Black History and Culture

Tourists drawn to exhibits on slavery, civil rights movement, achievements Museums that focus on the critical role of African Americans in U.S. history and culture are more popular than ever, and several cities are planning new or expanded facilities to attract tourists and scholars. "There's a new generation of [African-American culture] museums that are competitive in size and budget with most mainstream museums - and that's a very new phenomenon," said John Fleming, president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. "The black community is interested in preserving [its] history and culture on a scale that our patrimony deserves," he said. The African-American experience largely was ignored or misrepresented until recent decades, and even now, most students have a poor understanding of important people and events, Fleming told USINFO. "They know who Martin Luther King is, but they don't really understand his significance in American history." African-American museums attract many visitors, he added. "Cities and states are interested in cultural tourism. You see where they put the Baltimore Afro-American museum [Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture], right on the waterfront, right in the tourist area? And the Birmingham [Alabama] Civil Rights Institute [BCRI] has been a major tourism draw for the city." BCRI Executive Director Lawrence Pijeaux agreed. "We are one of the major destination points for tourism in the state of Alabama," he said. A recent economic impact study found that BCRI visitors spent about $5.7 million in the Birmingham metropolitan area between July 2002 and July 2003, and that 4 percent of the visitors were from foreign countries. Full Story:


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