Dear Editor: In your article "Documenting Blackness," you introduce the idea of an African-American museum and the problems that have risen through this proposal. An African-American museum is a great idea to memorialize the ideas and history of the African American people. The truth is, Congress should not deny the funding for an African-American museum. Problems will arise with the proposal of this memorial but the general public and more importantly Congress cannot turn down this request. Other problems include funding and the fact that not every historic event is able to have their own building for a monument. However, such an important history is too significant to go unrecognized without a national monument.
What makes the African American history so important is the significant impact that it had on shaping American history. Such events as the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement stem from the effects of slavery in America. These two events alone have shaped America into the society that exists today. Resulting from the Civil Rights movement, racial prejudice is one of the most discussed topics in our world today. Therefore, it is obvious that their history has not been ignored by any means, in fact African-Americans are the most studied and discussed of any race of people... The matter of documenting and honoring such a triumphant history is something that needs to be done.
No other race of people has ever overcome such adversity. Again, the idea that not every historic event can have their own building is a very plausible argument. Because African American history has played such an intricate role in shaping American society, a national monument or museum is something that needs to be built. The main thing that must be revealed through this memorial or museum is the events and the people that have been affected by them.
The most important factor is that they should not focus on the heritage and culture of the African American people. This section of their history is well shown in most historic based museums. The idea is to dictate and retell the stories and histories of the African American people during the period of massacres and slavery in Africa and America. It is very important to focus on the history as an event and not a place to express the culture of the African American people.
To best express this history, a memorial building would be ideal. If anything, it also adds to the American culture as well and gives us a more diverse and historic outlook in our museums. The museum would be a tribute to the slaves and victims and a landmark to an important era in American history that we still see the effects of today. One problem that usually surfaces when dealing with national monuments is with funding. In most cases national monuments are funded by private organizations. For example, the Holocaust museum is built on land donated by the federal government and funded by more than 200, 000 private donations.
The law states that all funds for planning, constructing and servicing the Museum need to be raised exclusively from private, tax deductible contributions. The entire construction process cost approximately $168 million and took around four years to complete. On a larger scale, the NAACP is an organization that far exceeds any set up for the Holocaust museum. Just the funding from their organization alone is something that the Jewish community was not able to count on. To just deny the African American community the chance to begin getting sponsors is something that shouldn't be done. There is no reason to restrict the African American community nor anyone else that wants to raise the money to build this A great example of what this museum would be like is the Holocaust museum.
It was nearly ten years ago that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened. This national monument and museum is in honor of the to the millions of Jews that died in the holocaust. What makes this such an important example is that the events of the Jewish holocaust is no different than the massacres and holocausts that took place in our own country and in Africa with the African people. Yet will place more emphasis on the Jewish holocausts than we do with the African holocausts. True, the South "was no Auschwitz" but the African American people were tortured and murdered just as the Jews.
The biggest difference was that this happened in our own country. Yet, people feel the need to deny the African American people the right to tell their story. They should not be allowed to pass what monuments they want built and ones they want over looked. The history of the African American culture is an event in our history that still shows it effects in today's society. The events significant impact on shaping American history is something that can not be overlooked and must be represented through a national memorial.
Due to the innumerable private organizations that will sponsor this campaign, funding will not be a problem for the African American museum building process to get under way. The funding process and importance of a national monument can be clearly seen through the Holocaust museum. If the National African American Museum is anything like that of the Holocaust Museum, I don't see any regrets or concerns in the near future. It is a great idea and is something that America should be proud to endorse as a memorial..