LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Black Lives Matter.
The research firm Statista reports that nearly 90 blacks have been shot and killed by police in just the first six months of 2020. More specifically, the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, William DeBose, and Grand Rapids native Breonna Taylor have proven to be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” outraging people around the world to protest a systemic pattern of overzealous police force upon men and women – as Curtis Mayfield sang – who are ‘Darker Than Blue.’ This brutality is not just a phenomenon of the 21st century, but an institution of violence perpetrated upon blacks since the first slaves arrived upon the shores of America in 1619.
The infrastructure of this racism and injustice has permeated every fabric of American life for 400 years. These inequities exist within education. Within health. Wealth. Economics. Law. Politics. Technology. At the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, we believe that it is not only our mission but our responsibility to address such discrimination and violation of human rights by shining a light on the past and present in order to adequately seek an informed context of history. We are likewise committed to invite and engage in constructive conversations, exploring means to redress these issues and seek solutions which impacts our quality-of-life. Our equality of living.
Let us have the strength to honestly look back in historical hindsight so we, as one nation, will be inspired to eradicate the racism and violence from this system.
The Museum needs your financial support to continue its work on the path toward creating experiences that are accessible and designed for the needs and interests of persons of African ancestry and those who wish to know more about the art, history and culture of African-derived cultures in our local history.
Make your contribution to the Museum today by clicking below to donate online at www.graama.org, call 616.649.3778 or mail your check payable to the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, 87 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
You have little power over what’s not yours. — Zimbabwean proverb