The effort to preserve African American history is firmly grounded in the struggle for freedom and equality. Black people understood the relationship between heritage and the freedom struggle. Such struggles in the pre and post Civil War eras spurred the preservation of African and African American culture first in libraries and archives and later museums. The civil rights, Black Power, Black Arts and Black Studies movements helped advance social and political change, which in turn spurred the development of Black museums as formal institutions for preserving African American culture.

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