Establish a National Afro-American Museum in Wilberforce, Ohio?: A Retrospective
Wilberforce Ohio was a historical landmark for black Americans. Named in honor of the great 18th century abolitionist William Wilberforce. Its roots date back to 1884. From the founding of university its task was unmistakably clear. Its students were steeped in freed slaves would become the leadership core of the not yet emancipated black population. The nation's first black college forced University said Its mission was the preparation of black men and women for the difficulties of a complex world. In honor of its accomplishments residents of Ohio felt it would be an appropriate spot to build a national Afro-American museum. And this triggered off what has long been a controversial issue in Ohio in the U.S. Congress. It began more than a decade ago when citizens of Ohio started petitioning the state legislature for the National Afro-American museum. In response to their pleas U.S. representative Clarence Brown introduced a bill in 1968. The bill stated that a federally chartered
Afro-American museum should be established. State Representative C.J. McCLIM followed suit and introduced a bill to the Ohio General Assembly. That bill called for state sponsorship of the museum and was passed in June of 1972. The bill authorized the Ohio Historical Society to establish and operate a museum in the vicinity of Wilberforce. The same bill also created a Planning Council whose duties were to advise the Historical Society in developing the project. The council was to consist of the team members each serving four year terms. C.J. McLean was a point to head the Council in 1973 but was later replaced by Charles Taylor president of Wilberforce in 1979. The council labored on the museum project for a couple of years achieving little progress. He will begin to wonder just how effective the Planning Council was. Charles Taylor seem to think the reason for the council stagnation during that period was due to the absence of professional council members.
What I was running late for Were really. Vary by your wording. Things look a little brighter though in 1976. Through the joint efforts of Congressman Brown and Senator Glenn U.S. Congress passed legislation directing the secretary of the Interior to conduct a feasibility suitability study of the museum. The study was to include cost estimates for necessary acquisitions development operations and maintenance as well as alternatives for in ministration of the museum.
The study was concluded in 1978 and found will be forced to be a well-suited place for the project. At that point in time the museum seem to be shifting into a reality. But shortly after the feasibility study was completed tensions began to flare within the Planning Council. It appeared several members of the Council were uncertain of the capabilities of the acting executive secretary Douglas Russell after the majority of the council voted in August of nine hundred seventy nine to fire Doug Russell. Charles McClelland council president oppose the firing and failed to pass the recommendation on to the Ohio Historical Society. He later commented that he did not realize the recommendation was a final action. McLuhan recommended Russell's hiring on the Planning Council was formed and so the museum was a dead issue until he and Russell bought it back to life. How.
We were brought it back was noble work. You know I think we were more rural. I was born almost majority. What are some of the reasons cited by council members in recommending Russell's hiring include his action to raise his own salary over a three year period from sixteen thousand seven hundred eighty five dollars to twenty six thousand two hundred eight dollars annually. But Charles Taylor now president of the council contends that the salary issue wasn't the main reason
Russell's firing. And if you really were furious furious level that would move along. Roughly in August of 1979 as if it was inevitable the museum was dealt a major setback the Federal Office of Management and Budget had
decided to oppose plans to build a federally funded National Black Museum. Management Office maintain the Smithsonian Institute in Washington is the National Museum and as a matter of policy they do not support museums outside of the Smithsonian or outside of Washington. President Taylor and C.J. McGlynn disagreed with the decision but felt the setback could be overcome. More reaction. Well it was reacting to the economic war something that already knew more than they were part of. Or kind of private.
I don't agree with the rest of their force but the main thing is we get a center of. How thing are Afro-American on October 10th 1980. Congress passed a public law ninety six dash 430 a bill sponsored and fought for by Congress and clients Brown and Senator John Glenn the bill called for Congress to establish a 15 member national commission which would begin planning for the National Afro-American museum and cultural center on October 12th 1980. Former President Jimmy Carter signed that legislation into law. So the museum has come a long way since its early planning days and rightly so.
Because it's taken quite a bit of time to get this far. Now it's just a matter of appropriating federal funds to get the museum built. But at the present time says Taylor that doesn't seem likely already let alone that to the American public. Better than all the seven hours. Work
with the government. A turn of life and power were the priority. The museum project taking such a long time one might wonder if there's any outside interference involved. Taylor admits there is opposition to the program but none that would actually damage the museum's progress. There are other countries who the point there are not to work with what we've got
going to be talking about that Will. What do you do there are having to service. The lack of progress. The only other option.
War public opinion toward the museum has gone up and down over the years and sometimes slacken off to a point where many have given up hope. But Taylor says the public has become very supportive of late the recent developments in the project. Every kindle the flame which could finally turn the museum issue into a reality. Whenever I get everybody I think wow you know I think you know things are happening. Nothing much. The sooner we bring a bulldozer and hammer nails here and put up a bulldozer start digging a hole. Nothing really going the way
there I think. Taylor says the museum will strengthen the Wilberforce community. It will essentially put the small undeveloped town on the map. One of the main factors Taylor sees in the project is the possibilities of commercial interest in the Wilberforce vicinity. There is the hope for the network in the way new commercial very unusual here in MO powered down the poor. And there are literally millions of them here. We would
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- Chicago: “ Establish a National Afro-American Museum in Wilberforce, Ohio?: A Retrospective ,” 1981-02-01, WYSO, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 15, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_27-49t1g643.
- MLA: “ Establish a National Afro-American Museum in Wilberforce, Ohio?: A Retrospective .” 1981-02-01. WYSO, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 15, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_27-49t1g643>.
- APA: Establish a National Afro-American Museum in Wilberforce, Ohio?: A Retrospective . Boston, MA: WYSO, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_27-49t1g643