The Museum of Black Civilizations, dubbed the world’s largest dedicated to Black Art, Culture and History, is an impressive building that sits on 150,000 square feet in the center of Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, to celebrate black civilizations across the world.
The 34-million-dollar museum, financed by the Chinese government, was inaugurated by president Macky Sall in December 2018. It contains thousands artifacts and ancient objects documenting more than ten thousand years of black African civilizations and is also said to have room for 18,000 artworks.
The exhibitions showcase findings from early antiquity to contemporary works, celebrating achievements of blacks in United States, the Caribbean, South America, among others. The museum is a testimony to the creativity and cultural accomplishment of very ancient African societies
Lucy (Dinkinesh) one of the oldest human fossils ever found is among the collection of the museum. Pieces of Lucy’s skeleton were found in 1974 in Ethiopia by a team of French and American Anthropologists. She reportedly lived 3.2 million years ago. The exposition also shows routes early humans took to streak out of the continent, more than one hundred thousand years ago to populate Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.
It is the will of Senegal’s government to gather all the artifacts that was stolen during the colonial era. Governments such as France’s have agreed to return some of the looted treasures, but thousands of them are still in museums of Western countries.
The museum of Black Civilizations is the brain-child of thinkers such as Alioune Diop, Leopold S. Senghor and Aime Cesaire, who after the devastation of World War II spearheaded the ambitious project aimed at mobilizing the African Diaspora’s intellectual and artistic resources, as a way of contributing to the progress of the continent. Owing to its reputation as a global center for Black History and Culture, Senegal’s leadership, including former president Abdoulaye Wade, who started the museum realization, have always understood the fundamental necessity of restoring and preserving Africa’s glorious past as Humanity’s birthplace for the generations to come.
Home for world renown Anthropologist, Historian and Physicist, the late Cheikh Anta Diop, whose colossal, multidisciplinary works contributed to re-establishing Africa’s history, Senegal is also where the Island of Goree, which was declared World Heritage site by the United Nations Education and Culture Organization, is located. Millions of kidnapped Africans were held in Goree Island’s dungeons and forced through the infamous the “door of No Return”, into slave ships that took them to bondage in the Americas.
Goree Island is well visited throughout the year, especially during the celebration called “.Diaspora Festival of RETURN.” The festival seeks to build the bridge between the continent and its Diaspora.
Cuba was the festival’s country of honor last November.
Edited by Khadidiatou Cisse; Africanheritagecelebration.blogspot.com
2 thoughts on “Dakar’s Museum Celebrates Blackness by Mohamadou Cisse”
Congratulations. A timely, important endeavor. Prof. Mohamed A. M. Alnagarabi
Thank you Prof. Alnagarabi…best wishes to you and for the struggle in Sudan.
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