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Black History Museum Faces Major Setback

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new museum honoring Minnesota’s African American history may not open after all.

The founder of the Minnesota African American Museum says they can’t get their hands on $1 million in state grant money unless Franklin Bank, here in the Twin Cities, puts the state in first position on the mortgage.

Founder Roxanne Givens says the bank refuses.

The holdup has left the museum in an unfinished state, with contractors on hold until this is all sorted out.

Givens says she’s even offered to pay off the $800,000 remaining on the mortgage by the end of this year — one year ahead of schedule — to clear the way for receiving the state money. But according to Givens, Franklin Bank has not been responsive to that proposal.

Givens says with the bank refusing to work with her there is now a real possibility she’ll have to scrap the entire project.

In a statement, Franklin Bank says:

“A museum celebrating the contributions and culture of Minnesota African Americans is a valuable asset for the entire community. We continue to work with the museum and other community members to find a reasonable solution that will allow this important project to move forward.”

While the museum does not have a physical presence, they are still hosting events throughout the community. On Saturday, they will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation at the Sabathani Community Center.

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