IAAM aims to re-center South Carolina’s place in global history, illuminating its pivotal role in the development of the international slave trade and the Civil War.
The museum will connect visitors to their ancestors, demonstrating how enslaved Africans and free blacks shaped economic, political, and cultural development in the nation and beyond. Film, documents, and digital archives further aid visitors in placing the story of African arrival in historical context.
As a partner for other research organizations, IAAM will serve as hub for regional heritage, sending visitors out across Charleston and South Carolina to access additional African American sites and experiences.
Mission and Vision
Nearly 80% of African Americans can potentially trace an ancestor who arrived through Charleston. The IAAM will teach visitors this history, and encourage them to explore it at historic houses, plantations, buildings, and other sites that speak to African American heritage.
These few acres witnessed one of the world’s most pivotal human migrations; no other place saw such a dramatic influx of enslaved African arrivals. IAAM is an authentic visitor experience that cannot be duplicated elsewhere in America.