The very first children’s museum of African culture in the United States in Baltimore

Baltimore will host the first-ever Children’s Museum of African Culture and History in the United States, which will educate, inspire and connect the children of America to discover and experience the real Africa.

Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures was founded by Ghanaian immigrant Esther “Mama Kiki” Armstrong, who owns the Sankofa African & World Bazaar boutique in Baltimore which sells African tribal art, ethnic clothing and matching gifts.

Living in America for over 30 years as an American citizen, Armstrong hopes to cultivate children’s interest in African cultures and encourage a love of learning about other cultures through play and other interactive activities.

“We are convinced … that by giving our children the pride and respect that comes from knowing their history and their connection to their roots before the transatlantic slave trade, we would make a major contribution to their sense of identity. and self. believes, and perhaps help prevent the negative behaviors that we see manifesting at so many different levels today, ” she said on the museum’s website.

“The mission of the Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures, Inc. is to build and operate a living and interactive world-class African Children’s Museum in Baltimore for the benefit of the communities of Baltimore and all visitors who wish to learn.” , added Mama Kiki.

In 2017, the Sankofa team requested support to raise $ 22,000 to secure a temporary facility in the Baltimore area that will house the museum for one year. This target was not achieved because the GoFundMe page generated just over $ 2,000 in 2019.

However, the dream is still alive as the team is still seeking funds to secure a permanent facility that will be large enough to house exhibits showcasing four regions of the African continent, with each section offering children various aspects of its countries and ethnic groups, says. the museum’s website.

“The installation will have an elaborate and dramatic entrance that will involve traditional dance, music and clothing that creates the atmosphere for visitors to experience Africa.

“Securing a large space would also allow us to offer courses and exhibitions for the day, week or month as desired. In addition to using local talents, we hope to be able to invite skilled artisans from Africa to welcome and teach their wonderful skills in African percussion, wood carving, pottery, basketry, jewelry making, Kente and other textile weaving, art, dancing and cooking, he adds.

The facility is also expected to rent space from vendors to operate African gift shops, bookstores, African restaurants, travel agencies, among others, as well as a large non-circulating children’s library and a children’s library. resources for adults to deepen their knowledge of African culture.

“The mission of the Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures, Inc. is to bridge the gap between the little-known history of Africa and what is typically shown on television or the little that is taught in American classrooms. », He declares.

This summer, the Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures is about to open its doors in Park heights, Esther “Mama Kiki” Armstrong said CBS Baltimore.

“We have to understand that the history of black America, for example, does not begin with slavery. There is a lot of history and a lot of civilization before white men set foot in Africa, ”she said.

“They might not even know they are learning. But we will present ideas and concepts in which they could participate, and thus learn the history of Africa, ”she added.

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