Frequently Asked Questions
Why an African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center
The effort to build the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center was a proactive response to the negative conditions existing in the African American community. These conditions including disproportionate levels of broken homes, crime, academic failure, drugs, violence, incarceration, lack of economic development and unemployment are a direct result of the cultural and socio-economic damages caused by the disenfranchisement of African people from their culture, heritage and wealth known as African Holocaust commonly referred to as the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and the institutionalized oppression of African peopled that followed.
How important is this to the African American community
This institution is a very important to the future of Black community in Seattle. It can be an institution that anchors us based on our past and helps to redefine us for the future or it can be a token facility that facilitates the further gentrification (whiting out) of the Central area and Seattle.
The issue of the African American Heritage Museum to be located at Colman School is significantly intertwined with the future of the Central District and the Black community in Seattle. To understand the current conflict one must have some awareness of the history and struggle to establish this institution against the backdrop of the systematic displacement of Black people (gentrification) from the Central Area. The willingness of people who look like us to be used as a tool to facilitate the hostile takeover of this project by Downtown power’s-that-be (read White folks) is a blatant example of why the African American community is in the state that it is in.
What is the original vision for the AAHMCC?
The AAHMCC was a self-determined, community-based, proactive and forward-thinking institutional solution to the socio-cultural and economic issues facing the African American community locally and nationally. Issues such as Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, cultural deprivation, inferior education, economic underdevelopment, crime and violence which plague African American community in Seattle and across the nation.
The driving principles of our vision are :
- Restoration, healing, growth and prosperity for the Black community
- Honoring past and embracing future by cultivating the history makers of today and tomorrow.
This vision for the AAHMCC is to be a world class facility. Ideally the facility will include:
- Permanent exhibits providing visitors with an experience of the African American history in Seattle and the northwest.
- Traditional galleries and multi-media exhibit space
- Performance Hall
- Movie Theatre
- Center for Hip-Hop Culture Business & Technology
- Enterprise Clinic/Small Business Incubator
- Multi media lab
- Audio/Video production studios
- Community Based Radio & Television Stations
- Fashion Design Center
- Retail Stores/Kiosks Mall (incubator for retail to outgrow space)
- Media Store (Books/CDs/DVDs)
- Clothing Store
- Natural Health Clinic
- Early Childhood Development Center
- K-12 School
- Artist Studios