Launch of the Sankofa African American 3D Museum

The Sankofa African American 3D Museum, the first African American virtual museum, launched on Friday, February 25. Tamiko Chambers, team member and founder of StarChild Social, was the moderator for the grand opening.

President and CEO Lawrence E. Walker has been researching, filming, and photographing African American history in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for 30 to 40 years. The Lawrence E. Walker Foundation collection contains more than 3,000 documents, 16,440 images, 14 original composed songs, and 80 historical film interviews. Walker’s passion is educating the importance of African American history. Its massive collection will help to understand that to have a future you need to know your past, which is the meaning and symbol of Sankofa.

The goal of the Sankofa African American 3D Museum is to educate youth, colleges, universities, and historians about the importance of black culture. The 3D Museum is a non-profit organization that will provide scholarships to students, military veterans, and put young tech-savvy people to work to help run the 3D Museum. Sankofa has four floors of exhibits, self-guided to view black history eras for free from your mobile device or desktop computer. The second phase of the 3D museum will include a virtual bookstore, gift shop, theater, radio, TV station, lectures, live cafe and local restaurants to support.

Sankofa features collections and memorabilia from the 1600s through the 2000s in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. A future exhibit will also include the history of African American women in World War II, Native American and Hispanic Korean War veterans, African American units in Korea, prisoners of war and missing personnel. The 3D museum will feature new exhibits each month, including a game that will take viewers inside a slave ship and the battle of the Revolutionary and Civil War.

Obi Agudosi is the President and CEO of OCA Architects based in Newark, NJ. With over 32 years in construction and design, Agudosi was inspired to work on the 3D museum project by Walker’s passion and vision. “As an architect, I try to help people realize their vision. When a person has the vision and is passionate about it, it helps to gather the passion they have and set it in motion,” says Agudosi. The future goal is a physical museum site in Newark, NJ.

Roger “Buddah” Munroe is an engineer and producer and has worked in the music industry for over 32 years. He has worked with artists such as MC Lyte, Destiny’s Child, 702, Mob Deep, Knocturnal with Dr. Dre and Missy Elliot. Buddah started a multimedia company, Creative Arts USA, which focuses on graphic design, web design and videography. Buddah was instrumental in creating Sankofa’s website. Buddah was interested in the project because of his family’s heritage. “My dad and uncle were Black Panthers. They rode with Stokely Carmichael. I remember doing bus rides for marches in DC Having the opportunity to be part of something groundbreaking is something that I can tell my grandchildren and great-grandchildren that I was part of this project,” says Buddah.

Wolfgang Gil is director and co-founder of The Honk-Tweet, based in Newark, NJ. Gil was the lead designer of the 3D museum. It was a tough project, but Gil and his team were able to complete the 3D museum in 2.5 months. “My team worked around the clock. This was the biggest project we’ve done as an agency. The beauty of it is how accessible and entertaining the museum is, as people from all over the country will be able to open their browser and with just a few clicks they will be in the museum,” says Gil.

Dorchell Harris is the Visual Curator of the Sankofa African American 3D Museum. For 30 years, Harris has been a disseminator of information to the masses of the world. As a librarian, Harris exhibited archives and special collections for universities, public libraries and cultural institutions. “When this project came to me, it really resonated and connected with me because it was in direct alignment with my skill set, which is exposure of black American history,” Harris says.

Sankofa strives to obtain sponsorships from individuals, companies, organizations and to partner with schools and universities to support the museum. “Today, the Sankofa African American 3D Museum has raised the standard for going to the museum. The phrase ‘going to the museum’ will never be the same again,” says Walker.

To visit the Sankofa African American 3D Museum, go to www.saa3dm.org.

Tammy Gibson is an author, reenactor and Black History traveler. Find her on social media @sankofatravelher.

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