The museum sits on the former site of Gadsden Wharf in Charleston where many enslaved Africans first arrived.

The museum will tell the story of slavery, but also other struggles and accomplishments by African Americans
Image: The International African American Museum is set to open in 2021.
The International African American Museum is set to open in 2021.Courtesy of the IAA Museum

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By Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Crews are ready to begin construction on a museum in South Carolina chronicling the history of African Americans in the Western Hemisphere.

The International African American Museum will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Friday. The museum is set to open in 2021.

The museum sits on the former site of Gadsden Wharf in downtown Charleston where nearly half the slaves brought to America first arrived.

Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley has been pushing for the museum since 2000 and has helped raise $90 million from governments and more than 2,200 individuals and companies..

The museum will tell the story of slavery, but also other struggles and accomplishments by African Americans in the U.S.

It will include comprehensive genealogy libraries to help people trace their family history.