[WATCH] Founder of Largest Privately Owned African Art Collection Launches Campaign to Raise Money for Museum

Over the last 40 years, Brooklyn native Eric Edwards has amassed one of the largest privately owned African Art collections in the world.  And believe it or not, Edwards, a former AT&T executive, houses nearly 2,000 artifacts in his Brooklyn, NY home.

Edwards strongly believes, “Once you know all of the things your ancestors have done in the past, you know you’re capable of doing anything.” You don’t have to be held down by limiting beliefs, and this will empower you to make the right decisions in your life.” So on a mission to share his artifacts with the world, Edwards has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a museum for his collection.

“The collection represents all 54 countries of Africa and spans over 4000 years of history, said Edwards. But I tell people all the time, technically on paper I am the owner of these artifacts and legally that’s true. But in my mind, I am the protector and the caretaker of these pieces. It’s my job to see that they go to the proper place, where they can be protected, cherished and honored by others and bring us together as a people. These pieces in turn, because they are ancestral pieces and spiritual in nature, protect me as well,” said Edwards during an exclusive interview with BlackEnterprise.com.

[Related: Tuskegee University Awarded Arts Grant]

The Cultural Museum of African Art will include the Edwards collection, a world-class library, youth education programs, a research and media center. “The principle of the museum is based on the West African Sankofa principle: You don’t know where you are going, if you don’t know where you’ve been,” said Edwards.

Watch the video below to get a behind the scenes look at the Edwards Collection and visit the Kickstarter campaign page to support the Cultural Museum of African Art (CMAAEEC), a 501 (c)(3) organization.

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