New Museum Set For Largest US Enslaving Port

An artist's rendering of Charleston's proposed African-American history museum.

An artist’s rendering of Charleston’s proposed African-American history museum.

By Free Radical

The city of Charleston has announced its plans to create the International African American Museum in 2020. The facility is scheduled to cost $100 million and span over 40,000 square feet. The proposed construction site is set for Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, South Carolina where the vast majority of enslaved Africans entering the US first disembarked.

The project is more than 18 years in the making and was first proposed in 2000 by former Charleston mayor Joe Riley. Development has been gradual but currently $59 million has been raised, more of half which has come from the city of Charleston and the state of South Carolina. The state has promised additional funds as the Museum gets more private donations.

The location of the site is very intentional. IAAM CEO and president Michael Boulware Moore noted, “I understand tens of thousands of people, including my ancestors, disembarked there in chains. I am confronted by the emotions that must have been felt on that space and just by the enormity of what happened.”

The proposed museum is intended to cover 17th century West Africa to the present day. It will include a Center for Family History genealogical site, and a social action lab where solutions can be crafted to contemporary problems ostensibly stemming from enslavement.

Yet despite the notable efforts of its supporters, the museum is not without controversy. The land was previously purchased by the locally prominent restaurateur Balish Family for $600,000. To gain the site, the city had to purchase it from the Balishes for more than five times what they paid for it at $3.5 million according to This profiteering by groups who are not people of color, it can be argued, only reinforces and exacerbates inequality that originated in slavery.

The IAAM site follow the highly celebrated opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC last year whose only notable hitches included long waits for tickets and small stunts pulled by racists. The proposed Obama Presidential library in Chicago however has attracted much more derision as community members have agitated to ensure that it not only chronicles the past but also targets current maladies with the input of local residents. Charleston’s IAAM would be wise to take note of the importance of preserving the past while not repeating it.

Cyclone Dumazile Hits Madagascar

By Chuma Kisu

Cyclone Dumazile over Madagascar

Cyclone Dumazile over Madagascar

According to international sources, massive flooding is gripping Madagascar as a tropical cyclone swirls close to the island.

The storm, named Dumazile, formed Saturday, March 3, 2018 and since then has been throwing torrential rain across Madagascar.

The cyclone is moving painfully slowly, at only 11 miles per hour, ensuring the heavy rain continues to fall for a prolonged period.

In the north of the island nation, Antsiranana has reported nearly eight inches of rain in the last 48 hours. In the east, Toamasina has been hit by 210 mm.

According to international sources, Antsiranana is likely to have seen the worst of the weather and conditions in the city should now improve, but Toamasina is likely to see more heavy rain over the next couple of days.

As the storm moves southward, its winds are strengthening. In approximately 24 hours, Dumazile is expected to reach its maximum intensity, with sustained winds of 122 miles per hour with gusts of up to 150 miles per hour.

With winds this strong, it would be classed as a powerful Category 3 hurricane on the 5-point Saffir-Simpson scale if it were situated in the waters around the Americas.

The eye of the storm, where the strongest of the winds are located, is forecast to remain over the sea. Rain is expected to be the greatest hazard for the region, with further flooding likely.

Madagascar is no stranger to tropical cyclones. In January, powerful cyclone Ava killed dozens of people when it slammed into the island. Again it was the east of the country which was worst hit, with Toamasina seeing some of the worst of the damage.

Black CDC Scientist Vanishes

Timothy Cunningham has been missing since February 12.

Timothy Cunningham has been missing since February 12.

By MCNS Staff

Timothy Cunningham, a doctor and scientist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, seems to have vanished without a trace.

The Morehouse & Harvard graduate, described as a highly-respected epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Feb. 12 when he reportedly left work early because he wasn’t feeling well.

The family of the 35-year-old doctor has offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who is aware of his whereabouts, according to Atlanta’s Fox 5 News.

Anterio Cunningham, the missing doctor’s brother, stated the he fears something has happened to Timothy and that his brother’s disappearance is eerie, when interviewed by the local news station. “My first mind is that something has happened — especially considering the length of time he’s been gone… Not having his phone, leaving his dog Bo alone, he just wouldn’t voluntarily check out like that,” he stated.

To make his disappearance even more bizarre, he told neighbor Viviana Tory’s husband to tell her “to erase his cellphone number from my cellphone,” Tory told CBS.

“The most unusual factor in this case is that every single belonging that we are aware of was located in the residence,” Atlanta Police Maj. Michael O’Connor of the major crimes unit, told CNN. “His keys, his cell phone, credit cards, debit cards, wallet, all of his identification. Anything you could think of, we’ve been able to locate. None of those items are missing.”

Rumors are swirling that Dr. Cunningham speaking about flu shots being the cause of deadly outbreaks of influenza may be the cause of his disappearance.

Subpoena Power Passes Aldermanic Public Safety Committee

By MCNS Staff

Alderman Terry Kennedy (D-18th) chaired the Public Safety Committee that passed BB233 which would add subpoena power to the Civilian Oversight Board if passed in full board. Photo credit: Wiley Price

Alderman Terry Kennedy (D-18th) chaired the Public Safety Committee that passed BB233 which would add subpoena power to the Civilian Oversight Board if passed in full board. Photo credit: Wiley Price

St. Louis may soon add more powers to a long-contested body that investigates police misconduct.

According to local reports, the Public Safety Committee of the Board of Aldermen has unanimously passed a measure Wednesday to add subpoena power to the city’s police Civilian Oversight Board. BB233 is sponsored by Alderwoman Pamela Boyd (D-27th).

Passage of the bill as law seems inevitable as it appears it has enough votes to pass the full board. Both Mayor Lyda Krewson and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards have expressed support for the added powers.

Subpoena power being added suggests that the measure would reduce suspicion and provide more checks and balances for police.

Prior to the passage of the Civilian Oversight Board in April 2015, former Mayor Francis Slay staunchly opposed the body having subpoena power. The hard-fought Civilian Oversight Board faced major opposition from the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association who claimed that the board would interfere with investigations, and eventually passed some ten years after its first introduction. It was signed into law by Slay in May 2016 without subpoena power.