South State Bank announced today that it is contributing $125,000 to the International African American Museum (IAAM), which will recognize and honor the role Gadsden’s Wharf played in the history of international slave trade.
Gadsden’s Wharf is an historic site in Charleston and the museum will function as a center of learning, exploration and connection that is culturally significant to all Americans.
“We are pleased to be a part of a project with international importance as well as local economic impact,” said Bill Medich, South State Charleston regional president. “As the largest bank holding company headquartered in South Carolina, South State is committed to contributing to key local, regional and national initiatives that honor and recognize the history of the communities it serves.”
Charleston is one of South State’s largest regions and the bank’s commitment is one of several donations contributing to the total funding needed to begin construction on the 40,000 square foot museum. Construction is due to begin in 2017 with an anticipated completion in the fall of 2019. The museum is estimated to cost around $75 million and will be financed with both public and private funds.
“We are so grateful for the partnership and contribution of South State that will get us that much closer to begin sharing the stories of resilience and courage of those who entered America through Charleston,” said Michael Boulware Moore, president and CEO, IAAM. “This contribution is one of a number of recent donations that will assist us with breaking ground within the next year and eventually welcoming visitors from the local region and all over the country.”
Charleston was the major port for in-state slave trading when international slave trading continued domestically after being banned by the United States in 1808. Gadsden’s Wharf was the primary auction site due to South Carolina’s thriving rice production. According to data from IAAM, 80% of African Americans can trace their ancestors to the wharf, with 48% of enslaved Americans entering through the site.
“We are truly honored to receive one of South State’s most substantial gifts in its more than eight-decade history. It represents the bank’s commitment to this nationally significant institution and to the city of Charleston at large,” said Former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
Those interested in donating to the IAAM can visit www.IAAMUSEUM.org or by calling 843-973-3333.
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