International African American Museum 


International African American Museum

The museum hovers 13 feet above the historic site of Gadsden’s Wharf, the port of arrival for nearly half of all enslaved Africans brought to North America.


The International African American Museum is home to 12 permanent exhibitions, including 9 galleries, one Special Exhibitions Gallery, which rotates between two and three exhibitions annually, and an ongoing series of digital exhibitions published via the Google Arts & Culture platform.

The permanent exhibitions feature more than 150 historical objects, more than 30 works of art, nearly 50 films and digital interactive experiences that bring history to life, framed by a gateway to the Atlantic Ocean.

  • African Roots/African Routes - Explore the diverse cultures of West and West Central Africa, and trace the movement of people of African descent throughout the Atlantic World.
  • American Journeys - Discover people, events, and stories that shaped United States history through the international lens of the African Diaspora.
  • Atlantic Worlds - Explore the nuanced historical connections throughout the Black Atlantic World and the deep inter-connectivity between Africa, the Americas, and Europe.
  • Carolna Gold/Memories of the Enslaved - Understand the transformative impact of enslaved people who labored on plantations in South Carolina and helped build the lucrative rice industry.
  • Creative Journeys - Follow a network of art throughout the building that provides alternative vantage points for understanding history and the role creative expression plays in both shaping and reflecting its arc.
  • Gullah Geechee - Define and demystify what it means to be Gullah Geechee by examining the history of the Gullah Geechee peoples and the contemporary issues facing their communities today.
  • South Carolina Connections - Experience stories of resistance and achievement from the many locally, nationally, and internationally influential African Americans in South Carolina’s history.
  • Theater Gallery - Take in video-based installations that use a narrative storytelling format to provide broad historical context and further orient visitors to the museum experience.
  • TransAtlantic - Immerse yourself in the journey of African cultural roots, from the tragedy of the middle passage to the enduring legacy of local and international diaspora scenes and traditions.


International African American
Museum Photos


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International African American
Museum Hours and Admission


Hours: 
Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
Closed Monday
Closed Christmas Day and Thanksgiving

Admission:
Adults (17+) $19.95
Youth (6-16) $9.95
Child (Under 6) Free
Senior (62+) $9.95
Military (With ID) $11.95 
Residents (2023 Only)
Adults (17+) $5.96
Youth (6-16) $5.96
Child (Under 6) Free
Senior (62+) $5.96
Military (With ID) $5.96 


Internationa African American
Museum Address and Map


International African American Museum
14 Wharfside St
Charleston SC 29401
(843) 872-5352
International African American Museum


Current and Upcoming Events
at the International African 
American Museum


What: The Spirits of Sankofa | Spoken Word Writing & Performance Workshop
When: Feb. 15, 2024
Time: 6 pm - 7:15 pm
Where: IAAM
Admission: $15

Join us on February 15th for a transformative experience at the IAAM, as we delve into the rich tapestry of spoken word, rooted in the profound Akan philosophy of Sankofa from Ghana. Sankofa, meaning ‘to retrieve’ or ‘go back and get it,’ represents a vital principle: learning from the past to build a brighter future.

In this exclusive spoken word workshop, renowned poet jessica Care moore will guide teens from the low country in exploring the intricate art of spoken word. Participants will learn various writing and performance techniques, understanding how these powerful tools can express cultural heritage, ignite creativity, and advocate for civil and human rights. Register here


What: From Dreams to Reality: An Evening of Spoken Word
When: Feb. 16, 2024
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: IAAM
Admission: $25

“Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I Rise. I Rise. I Rise.”  These words penned by author, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou are not only etched onto the wall of the museum’s Granite Wall Garden, but are also at the center of our mission and vision. As we reflect on the gifts of knowledge, culture, and tradition passed down by our ancestors, it is our duty to preserve and fulfil those dreams. The IAAM invites you to join us on February 16 as we honor the perseverance, achievements, and hard-fought victories of African Americans through an evening of spoken word; including a special performance by internationally renowned poet, activist, and institution builder – jessica Care moore. Register here


What: A Conversation With Dr. Frank Thomas | Author Talk
When: Feb. 29, 2024
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Where: International African American Museum
Admission: Free 

In honor of the centennial celebration of James Baldwin’s birth, Dr. Frank Thomas invites us on an enlightening expedition, exploring the profound impact of Baldwin’s Pentecostal faith on his illustrious career as a writer. This journey delves into the life, legacy, and literature of Baldwin, offering a compelling testament to his unwavering belief in God—a belief that has not only shaped his remarkable body of work but also inspired individuals globally. Baldwin’s unique synthesis of spirituality and storytelling continues to resonate, illuminating the paths of countless souls around the world. Register here


What: Ming Smith: Feeling the Future
When: Jan. 31 - Apr. 28, 2024
Time: All Day
Where: International African American Museum
Admission: Regular Admission

This special exhibition explores artist Ming Smith’s unparalleled and under-recognized career from the early 1970s through the present. The exhibition encompasses a multitude of artistic expressions to represent Smith’s vibrant and multi-layered practice, which is grounded in portraiture, and amplifies the heartbeat of Black life in the United States. Feeling the Future places works from the artist’s five-decades of creation in conversation with one another, exploring themes such as Afrofuturism, Black cultural expression, representation, and social examination.


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