International African American Museum in South Carolina delays January launch

IAAM officials plan to review opening plans due to issues with the humidity and their building's temperature controls.

The International African American Museum in South Carolina has announced it will delay its launch, which had been planned for January.

The museum was initially slated to open the weekend of Jan. 21, 2023, Live 5 News WCSC reported. However, officials will review opening plans next year due to issues with the humidity and temperature controls in the Charleston building.

IAAM emphasized that stringent humidity controls are needed to display the most sensitive artifacts for extended periods.

The International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, (above) will delay its opening, which had been scheduled for January. Officials plan to review issues with the building’s humidity and temperature controls. (Photo: Screenshot/ News 2)

“This delay is necessary to ensure that the museum building achieves the conditions necessary to preserve and protect our most sensitive objects, artifacts, and art,” the museum said in a statement, according to Live 5. “In the meantime, we are monitoring humidity controls, which are suitable for all objects currently installed.”

Live 5 reported that IAAM is putting up a lot of effort in collaboration with the city of Charleston and third-party consultants to resolve the situation and anticipate opening its doors to the public in early 2023.

“We regret this turn of events and any inconvenience to our loyal members, sponsors, and community,” the museum said, according to Live 5. It said it was delaying the opening because of its “responsibility to ensure the highest standard of safety and preservation for our most sensitive objects, art, and artifacts that honor the journey of our ancestors and tell critical stories of our nation’s history.”

Bank of America has made two $500,000 donations to the $92 million museum, theGrio previously reported. An estimated 40 percent of the enslaved Africans transported to North America during the transatlantic slave trade arrived at the site where the museum will be located, originally known as Gadsden’s Wharf.

According to its organizers, the museum’s goal is to trace those ancestors’ paths while celebrating their histories and legacies on local, national and international levels through changing displays, educational programs and other activities.

This organization is “poised to be a critical global treasure,” said IAAM’s CEO, Dr. Tonya M. Matthews, who was appointed to the role in March of last year.

“I am excited to stand with the people of Charleston,” Matthews said, according to theGrio, “as we steward this sacred site and the often-silenced stories of American history — both the horrific and the victorious — that continue to challenge our efforts to create a more perfect union.”

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!