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Our Story

Founded and operated through The African Shore Community Development Corporation in collaboration with Arts Reforming Communities, the aim of the project is to establish a special interest Museum that will provide multiple services and areas of focus. This museum will eventually be housed within a facility in Paterson, NJ that will fit its specialized needs. The museum will serve the community's diverse ethnic population as the gateway to learning the history of: (a) The Underground Railroad and slavery in Paterson and Greater areas, (b) The History and contributions of African Americans of Paterson, NJ and their impact on the Greater county, state, county and world, and (c) the historic, present and future connection and intersection of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, Europeans, etc. to one another.  In addition, the museum will seek to directly impact the over 24,000 students in the Paterson Public Schools as well as the 10,000 students that attend Passaic County Community College each year. This museum will be designed to be interactive, interconnected and entertaining. It will host rotating Art and Historic exhibitions and provide a series of activities and seminars for learning and community development. By promoting partnerships with community; colleges, universities, school districts, non-profits, churches and other community groups, we will build a robust museum that will address current, historic and on-going issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice within the society; educational curricular; and in our everyday pursuit of happiness assuring our success not by monetary size, but by more qualitative measurements such as the scale and effectiveness of our efforts. Just imagine what we can achieve together!

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African Shore 2.jpg

"During the late 1800s occurred the beginnings of Negro migrations from the South to all northern cities, and Paterson was no exception. Many were attracted by the manufacturing and hoped to secure employment. In this, they were disappointed, as factories and shops did not hire Negros, and many moved on further north. Those who stayed tended to settle mostly in the area of River Street, between Main and Straight Streets, and by the turn of the century the area was known as the African Shore”

                                                    - Louis Richard Binder (1927)

Funds will be used to establish a historic and cultural museum dedicated to the rich history and impact of Paterson’s African- American community. Funding will provide necessary equipment; staffing and administrative support to achieve our goals of providing rich programming for the community, and for renovation of selected buildings or space, and any required technology upgrades.

Our Goals

Key Community Partners

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