, 2022-12-05 12:08:01,
Erected on a series of pillars, much of the highly anticipated International African American Museum (IAAM), which will open in late January in Charleston, South Carolina, does not touch the earth. That was a deliberate choice, says the museum’s president and CEO, Tonya Matthews. When the building’s architect, Harry Cobb, learned that the IAAM would be constructed on Gadsden’s Wharf, “he adopted a language,” she explains, “that honored this as hallowed ground.”
Roughly 40 percent of the country’s enslaved Africans took their first steps on American shores at Gadsden’s Wharf. The long arcade formed under the museum will shelter part of the African Ancestors Memorial Garden, a spread in which visitors will be able to reflect on the significance of the site among a sweetgrass field, a palm grove, live oaks, and art installations, each choice carefully considered by landscape architect Walter Hood. Hood also designed a reflecting pool where the garden will meet the harbor called the Tide Tribute. Inspired by the infamous 1787 diagram of the Brookes slave ship, which depicted its human cargo crammed together, the pool has a floor that will comprise reliefs of men, women, and children that will emerge from beneath the water’s shapeless surface as it flows in and out hourly.
Abolitionists used the Brookes images to bolster their cause, but the diagram’s ubiquity ironically reinforced the idea of those enslaved Africans as anonymous and…
To read the original article from news.google.com, Click here