NewsPolk County


$500K needed to build African American Historical Museum of Lakeland

Polk County black communities
Posted at 6:36 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 18:38:33-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — While plans to build an African American Historical Museum in Lakeland are one step closer, there’s still more work to be done.

“After the George Floyd killing, people were interested in learning more about African Americans and the way of life,” said Doris Moore Bailey, African American Historical Museum of Lakeland founding member.

That’s where the African American Historical Museum of Lakeland would come in. Lakeland’s Black community leaders are working on establishing the museum and have been gifted free property to build it.

“On the corner of Emma and New York Avenue here in Lakeland. And so that’s in the heart of the community actually,” Moore Bailey said.

With property secured, board members are now focused on another hurdle. They estimate it will take at least half a million dollars to open and operate the museum.

“That will take a massive fundraising campaign and we’re looking probably to hopefully get support from all over, from grants and donations,” said Moore Bailey.

The exhibits would feature artifacts from Lakeland’s Black neighborhoods, businesses, and churches.

“It is needed because our history needs to be captured correctly and displayed correctly,” Moore Bailey said.

The goal is to have the African American Historical Museum of Lakeland opened by 2023.