A Local Museum Teams Up With State Organization to Preserve African American History

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Currently, the Doleman Black Heritage Museum doesn’t have a permanent home in Hagerstown, but that could soon change.

On Wednesday afternoon, community members testified for a bill cross-filed in the Maryland House & Senate that would give the Museum $130,000 dollars of operational funding for the next three to five years.

“This is step one in regard to having the artifacts seen by the community, so the operational funding would allow us to operate a storefront downtown while we simultaneously work on a long-term vision of having a building for the permanent storage of those artifacts,” said Reggie turner, President of the Museum.

Freshman delegate Brett Wilson says this bill isn’t a permanent solution, but the first step to more funding opportunities

“The goal is to have a three year funding stream so they can establish that they are a brick-and- mortar museum, and that opens the door to other monies that would become available outside the state, but you have to show you’re a legitimate operation first.”

Last year, this bill failed in the house, but now, Delegate Wilson and members of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum are hopeful.

This year, they have the support of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, which has nearly one million dollars to support projects just like this one across the state.

“The history and culture of the African American experience in Maryland is in dire need of being seamlessly interwoven into the fabric of the history of Maryland, and the world,” said Ted Mack, Chairman of the Commission.

The collaboration on the part of the Commission and the Museum reflects a joint effort at the state and local levels to preserve black history. 

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