National Slavery Museum At Risk Of Not Opening On Time

July 12, 2007

The United States National Slavery Museum is at risk of not opening by their late 2008 goal if they don't raise enough money by the end of the summer.

The museum must raise $10 million in order to make their goal of an opening late next year. It's a project more than a decade in the works.

The cash would be used for building a visitor center and gardens, the first phase of the Fredricksburg museum slated to carry more than 5,000 slavery relics.

The site now sits at the bank of the Rappahannock River, empty. Richmond Mayor Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, thought up the museum during a trip to Africa in 1993. He's since rounded up support among such black celebrities as= entertainers Bill Cosby and Ben Vereen.

The museum has $50 million in cash and in-kind donations on hand, an amount that hasn't budged much in the past few months despite a series of fundraising efforts.

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