CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Community members came together on Thursday night for a worship service ahead of the highly-anticipated groundbreaking of the International African American Museum.
The program included music from the Charleston area justice ministry choir and African drumming from the Wona Womalan African Drumming and Dance Ensemble.
Leaders with the museum said the event was supposed to be a way to bring a variety of faith traditions together to pay homage to a project that has taken over twenty years.
The museum is designed to tell the story of a journey of enslaved Africans who were taken from West Africa to North America through a port in Charleston.
“We seek to honor the site where nearly 50 percent of enslaved Africans arrived in America,” said Dr. Elijah Heyward III, chief operating officer for IAAM. “We also seek to tell important stories about the achievements and contributions of African Americans that impacted not only Charleston, but the world.”
The worship event is a way to kick things off, before the actual ceremony.
Heyward said the experience is also meant to thank their ancestors who have sacrificed so much.
Bernard Powers, the interim CEO for IAAM, says it was especially important to have the event at Mother Emanuel.
“This is such an important historic church here in Charleston. At the museum we will be telling a story of this congregation and the faith tradition that it represents,” Powers said.
The groundbreaking Friday will begin at 10 a.m. at the Charleston Maritime Center.
Tickets are sold out for the event, but people can still catch the live stream on the IAAM Facebook page.
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