A museum rises again

By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer

In the most troubled of many troubled times stretching back through the decades, the African American Museum in Philadelphia almost became a building without a staff.

The reason was simple: No cash.

Before that perilous moment in 2004, the museum had had more than a dozen directors. And even before that - before it became the first municipally funded black museum in the country in 1976 - it had faced contentious neighbors and lawsuits aimed at stopping its construction.

But through all the criticism and fiscal crises, the museum has survived, and now, as it marks its 35th anniversary with a weekend-long Juneteenth celebration, it appears to have achieved not just survival, but stability.