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In March, poet M. Nzadi Keita led a book discussion at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center. She asked audience members to talk about women in their lives that inspire them.

The request led to tears and laughter, but mostly a rare honesty shared between strangers. I had no intention to tell a personal story among people I didn’t know in a museum I’d never been to, but I did, and felt extremely grateful to be a part of it. That’s exactly the experience that the staff and board of directors at the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center strive to offer.

Situated in the heart of the Gateway Arts District in North Brentwood, the PGAAMCC isn’t just a museum, it’s a home—a place to go back to and remember where you came from and what your ancestors survived.

With tireless leadership and advocacy for the voiceless, the staff of the PGAAMCC continues to build what they describe as a museum without walls—a space to have thoughtful and empowering conversations.

“Our mission is to amplify the voices of folks in [Prince George’s County] and connect those voices to the world at large,” says Chanel Compton, the vice chair of development and former executive director of the PGAAMCC. “When people think of [Prince George’s County] they think of politics or negative media instead of the good work that is being done. We are a platform for those voices. We want to help make [Prince George’s County] a major destination for why this area is so unique. We have tremendous networks of academics and activists but you don’t ever hear enough about them.”

Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center, Synatra Smith, African American History, Black History, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


The Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center tells the stories of the diversity of experience of the county’s African American community and aims to reflect on the broad spectrum of social and cultural activities of this community. (Website).