COLUMBUS Ga. – The Columbus Black History Museum and Archives may be forced to close its doors for lack of money.
Lakesha Stringer, a volunteer, says she can’t believe the museum hasn’t received any outside funding.
“It’s like our city is saying yes this is what we want…we don’t want you to have access to your history because there’s no city funding, no state funding, no federal funding. Even though it’s been requested,” says Stringer.
Dave Gillarm, the museum Director, says rent is $700 a month, so they must meet a quota of memberships to keep their doors open.
“We have to have a minimum of three memberships per month or twenty individual memberships and those numbers are pretty high, so it kind of becomes impossible,” says Gillarm.
Gillarm believes that it’s crucial for African American millennials to know their history.
“They think that since they came from nothing they’re destined to not be anything in their life. When I show them the book like the black city directory they see hundreds of black owned businesses,” said Gillarm. “If they can do it during their time and this was a time when blacks weren’t treated as human then why can’t they do it now.”
Stringer is a Naval veteran and says even after traveling the world she’s never seen artifacts like the ones at the museum.
“A lot of our items are one of a kind and it’s important for people to come here otherwise they won’t know,” says Stringer.
The museum says they have received enough donations to keep their doors open until July. They also plan to create a go fund me account.Click here to donate to keeping the Columbus Black History Museum and Archives open.