Mooresville-based Lowe’s announced Friday that it is giving $1 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is being dedicated in Washington DC Saturday by President Barack Obama.
The money is intended to support the museum’s exhibitions, artifacts and programs on the impact of African Americans on the nation and world.
Located on five-acres adjacent to the Washington Monument, the 400,000-square-foot museum holds a collection of about 30,000 objects covering major periods of African American history, starting from origins in Africa.
“Our support connects to a broader commitment to be even more thoughtful and intentional about embracing diversity as part of our everyday business,” said Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and president.
Among the thousands of exhibits in the museum are artifacts from both Carolinas including: A red flag that announced slave market day in Charleston, on loan from the South Carolina Historical Society; Student desks from the black Hope Rosenwald School in Pomaria, S.C.; and a rusted branding iron bearing an artistic symbol from West Africa, found in Walterboro, S.C.
The biggest item from the Carolinas is a slave cabin from the early 1800s that was on the Point of Pines Plantation on Edisto Island, S.C. It was taken down in 2013, board by board, and reassembled in Washington to represent the slaves who worked the fields and raised generation after generation there.
Also in the museum is the lunch counter from the 1960 Woolworth’s sit-ins in Greensboro.
The Museum of African American History and Culture was established by an act of Congress in 2003 and was built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It’s the 19th museum in the Smithsonian family, and is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural institution devoted exclusively to documenting the African American story.