Mormon Church donates $2m to help African Americans trace genealogical roots

March 05, 2019 at 11:30 am | News

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

March 05, 2019 at 11:30 am | News

More and more African Americans are gaining interest in the African continent as the continent is in a new wave of telling its own stories by its own people and presenting the continent as it really is to the world.

With so much discovery, several industries and field of study, it is no surprise that African Americans and the black community in general, are gaining a keen interest in returning to their true home and tracing their African roots for closure.

On February 27, 2019, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced their intentions to support the African American community to trace their genealogy with a donation of $2,000,000.

The donation was made at the RootsTech 29 by Elder David A. Bedner to the International African American Museum set to open in 2021 on the former Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina.

In his presentation speech, Elder Bedner said, “If you consider the purposes of the International African American Museum and the objectives they hope to achieve in connecting families that have been disconnected and some of the things that we’ve learned about helping to accomplish those objectives, it’s a perfect partnership.” He went on to add that through FamilySearch International, “the church was making an effort to help establish a bridge back to Africa so individuals can reclaim their African roots.”

Martin Luther King III, son of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an honored guest at the RootsTech February 27, 2019, donation presentation to the International African American Museum. Photo mormonnewsroom

Aside from this, the donation was also made to help fund the creation of the Center for Family History at the International African American Museum.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gives a fist-bump to Gene Stephenson, president of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Photo:
mormonnewsroom

Accepting the donation on behalf of the Museum was the CEO Michael Boulware Moore who spoke on the significance of the Museum, its location and the funds donated, explaining that the museum will present an “unvarnished truth” of American history with a focus on memorializing the sacrifices and contributions of Americans with African ancestry.

RootsTech 2019 . Photo: mormonnewsroom

The donation ended day one of the RootsTech 2019 in front of a huge audience. According to Elder David A. Bedner, this is the first of many donations that the church promises to make to the museum and the black community.

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