Texas African American Museum reopens after completing phase 1 renovations

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Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Community members including city officials, donors, family, and friends celebrated the grand reopening of the Texas African American Museum.

The first phase of the renovations have been completed thanks to anonymous donations, an interest loan, and fundraisers such as the Texas Juneteenth Pageant.

The building was once a fire station before it was donated to the board members of the Texas African American Museum by the City of Tyler.

“We redid our ceiling, we redid new ceiling tile, we redid the lighting, put up our ceiling fans, brought up the restrooms up to ADA compliance,” said Executive Director Gloria Washington.

Washington says that she frequently applies for grants in order to be able to help the museum progress forward.

The half of the building where the fire trucks previously parked will be a part of Phase 2 of renovations.

“We still have a little more work to go, but we are continuing the course,” says Washington.

The museum also has new monuments, more space to hold memorabilia, and two new signs in the front of the building.

Guest speakers included Tyler District Three City Council member Dr. Shirley McKellar.

“They felt compelled by a desire to not only preserve African American history, but to provide a place for the community to view their history,” said Mckeller.

Stanley Cofer is the President of The Empowerment Community Development Corporation.

Cofer says the museum has come a long way from where it started.

“People are going to be proud of what has taken place and invite family and friends,” says Cofer.

Even with the new renovations, Cofer says they still have a way to go before the entire museum is complete.

“We’re not where we want to be, but thank God for the point to where we have come,” Cofer says.

Cofer says phase two of renovations will cost around $350,000.

Members of the museum were let down from a promise of a $100,000 donation from Dr. Khalilah Camacho-Ali, ex-wife of Muhammad Ali.

The board of the museum says they are hopeful that they will receive enough donations and funds in order to be able to complete phase 2 of renovations.

Washington says she is excited for the community to sign up to become members of The African American Museum. You can visit their Facebook page for more information by clicking here.

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