TD Bank Gives $250,000 to Charleston’s International African American Museum

The International African American Museum is planned for the undeveloped land that was the site of the historic Gadsden’s Wharf on Charleston Harbor. File

The planned $75 million International African American Museum is getting a financial boost with a $250,000 donation from TD Bank that will help support a genealogical research center where visitors can trace their ancestry.

The gift, which is being announced Thursday, “highlights the importance of connecting and empowering people to know who they are and where they come from,” the lender said.

“One way we can support our community is in knowing our shared history,” said David Lominack, South Carolina market president for TD Bank.

Museum CEO Michael Boulware Moore called the six-figure donation “an investment in this project.”

“Their meaningful contribution provides us with an opportunity to build a bridge for so many who have been eager to learn more about their family’s ancestry,” Moore said in a statement.

Organizers are seeking to raise about $19 million this year for work to begin on the museum by early 2018 at the historic Gadsden’s Wharf between Concord Street and Charleston Harbor. An estimated 100,000 West Africans were brought to the waterfront site by slave ships between 1783 and 1808.

“It’s the equivalent of Ellis Island,” said former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, a chief fund-raiser for the museum, which is scheduled to open by late 2019.

The TD Bank contribution will help fund the Center for Family History, where genealogists and historians will use DNA testing, and public records such as census databases to help African American visitors trace their ancestors. It will include four research rooms.

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Source: Post and Courier | John McDermott