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The International African-American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, has yet to open, but during a recent press conference its first president and CEO was announced, ABC 4 News reported. 

Michael Boulware Moore, a successful businessman who worked at Coca-Cola and Kraft, was honored to take on this new venture. He will be “responsible for directing the affairs of IAAM, including hiring the museum’s staff and partnering with board members to raise private donations to match the public funding,” wrote

It’s also Moore’s family’s legacy that makes this recent appointment meaningful. His great-great grandfather was Robert Smalls, an enslaved African-American man who took over a Confederate ship, the CCS Planter, sailed it away from the Charleston and then turn in to the Union during the Civil War. The unsung hero was also one of the first black Congressmen elected in South Carolina serving five terms, The Grio noted

“I grew up knowing the remarkable accomplishments of my great-great-grandfather and that his story was one that created great pride for my family. I’m so proud to have the opportunity to help uncover and celebrate other stories that might be less well-known, but equally important to American and African-American history,” Moore said in a statement.

Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who co-hosted the press conference, believes that Moore’s family history will help usher others to want to know more about African-American history in their state, especially given that 50 percent of enslaved Africans first arrived in South Carolina’s capital, ABC 4 noted.

“Our country does not know and has not been taught the full history of African-Americans and their contribution to our country. This museum located on this most historic and sacred site will allow this history to be powerfully presented, and Michael Moore is just the person to help up make our vision a reality,” he said.

This announcement came four months after the museum received a hefty donation of $500,000 from the Boeing Company, says The International African American Museum is still in the fundraising stage, but they hope to start construction by the end of the year to make their anticipated 2018 opening.

The museum’s goal is more than showcasing African-American art and history, but to connect “visitors to their ancestors, demonstrating how enslaved Africans and free blacks shaped economic, political, and cultural development in the nation and beyond,” describes a press release.


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Charleston African-American Museum Names First CEO, Descendant Of Enslaved Civil War Hero  was originally published on