The African American Museum of Beginnings is a virtually self-funded community museum that inspires and educates all on the history, culture, and arts of Africans and African Americans through exhibits, programs, and community engagement.
The African American Museum of Beginnings opened its doors April of 2011. The founders, Khalif and Victoria Rasshan retired from the Pomona Unified School District after 37 years of teaching. They were inspired by Gloria Morrison and Alma Morrison Rahmaan who in the early 1990’s demanded relevant cultural education for their children. Their model which AAMB uses may have never been implemented had it not been created by these women. These sisters rallied their community and founded the first of its kind, traveling African American Museum within the Pomona Unified School District and the greater Pomona Valley.
Their efforts have reached thousands of students who now teach their own children lessons of self-esteem and tolerance.
Khalif and Victoria collaborated with PUSD and Village academy who provided their current space. They put the word out to the community, family, and friends. Donations were coming from everywhere. Bringing all types of materials that reflected the African American history and culture. It was the birthing of something very beautiful that is community based. In April, 2011 The African American Museum of Beginnings was incorporated as a private, nonprofit organization and later established as 501(c)(3). Nearly 80-90% of everything in the museum is or has been donated or loaned by someone from the community. Everyone in the community has played a significant part.
The AAMB’s goal is to focus on the existence of African people from four major experiential areas:
- Ancient and Classical Africa will feature reproductions of authentic African artifacts of Kemetic and Nubian origins.
- Maafa and Resistance will feature a pictorial exposé depicting the tragic circumstances of African people and their struggle for self-determination.
- The Contemporary African American will reflect African American cultural traditions from expressions and fine arts, to examples of hundreds of inventions that were created by African Americans.
- Local History will cover contributions of heroes of the local variety from award winning choir directors to neighborhood barbers.
Since its opening in 2011, the AAMB continues to move its mission forward by offering a permanent exhibit reflecting African American history, life, and education. The museum will be a collection of great people from the artistic expression of pre-school children to professional exhibits, illustrating the life and achievements of classical Africa.
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