Friday, February 24, 2012

Slavery Museum Loses its tax-exempt Status

The national slavery museum former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder hopes to create can no longer receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. On Wednesday, the IRS added the U.S. National Slavery Museum to the list of organizations that have had their federal tax-exempt status revoked.

For nearly two decades, Wilder has talked about the need for a place dedicated to teaching future generations about slavery. But the museum has not been built, as fundraising and other troubles slowed progress. In the fall, the museum filed for bankruptcy. Creditors have pressed for bills amounting to millions of dollars to be paid, and some donors have asked for rare artifacts, such as leg shackles and slave bills of sale, to be returned. Wilder did not return mes­sages seeking comment.

Perhaps Wilder should have called it the National Museum of African American History and Culture, invited President Barack Obama to the groundbreaking ceremony and taken the $500 million in government funding. 

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