Museum of Black Civilizations opens in Senegal

A middle-aged Haitian man in a dark suit jacket and jeans stands

Haitian artist Philippe Dodard next to his work “Memory in Motion”

In case Senegal wasn’t already on your travel list, there’s now another excellent reason to go.  The Museum of Black Civilizations has just opened in Dakar.  This is a long-delayed opening more than 50 years after Leopold Sedar Senghor first proposed such an idea in the 1960s.  More details from Al Jazeera:

Its 14,000 square metres of floor space and capacity for 18,000 exhibits puts it in league with the National Museum of African American History in Washington. Its range of exhibits is, however, more far-reaching.

The high-ceilinged exhibition halls include Africa Now, showcasing contemporary African art and The Caravan and the Caravel, which tells the story of the trade in human beings – across the Atlantic and through the Sahara – that gave rise to new communities of Africans in the Americas.

These diaspora communities- such as in Brazil, the United States and the Caribbean – are recognised as African civilisations in their own right here. …

Women of the Nation showcases women of African descent, including Angela Davis.

The scale of the project follows that of the Dakar Art Biennale and the Renaissance Monument, in which successive Senegalese presidents have cemented their legacies with works of culture, Mbow says.

“All of the phases of the inauguration of the museum is done by Africans,” he says.