Filmmaker Tariq Nasheed has raised more than $145,000 for the Hidden History Museum he said he plans to build in Los Angeles’ historically Black Leimert Park neighborhood. The six figures in support poured in quickly as it has only been three days since Nasheed announced the project on July 20 on his social media platforms.
“Greetings family… We need everyone to get involved and help with building The Hidden History Museum in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles,” Nasheed tweeted along with the link to a YouTube video which details the project.
Nasheed is raising the money through a campaign on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform. “We are building the country’s first museum that focuses on Black history that is generally hidden and untold. This historic project is presented by Melanoid Nation Foundation, which is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Los Angeles,” the campaign states. “This project is spearheaded by filmmaker Tariq Nasheed, who produced the top-selling Hidden Colors documentary series. The museum will feature a plethora of artifacts and material featured in these films.”
According to the campaign, the Hidden History Museum will “focus on presenting global Black history and it will also emphasize Foundational Black American history.” It further states it will feature exhibits dedicated to master teachers including Dr. John Henrik Clarke and Dr. Frances Cress Welsing; Black inventors including Lewis Latimer and Benjamin Banneker; Black explorers including Estevanico The Moor and Matthew Henson; Black rebel leaders including The Black Seminoles and Maroon societies; the history of Black music; meeting spaces for conferences and a screening room to watch documentaries and other films.
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The campaign says Nasheed and his team plan to acquire the land for the museum by November 2021. In the YouTube video, Nasheed said the total cost of the project is about $7 million, but they need $1 million to secure the land and get the museum off the ground. The campaign also promises “really phenomenal perks” to anyone who donates.
Supporters applauded Nasheed for being a “visionary,” with some happily posting screenshots of their donations. “The man doesn’t play when he has an idea. They’ll hate it, but I love it!” a user identified as Ethereal commented on YouTube.
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“Awesome advertisement! Where do I send the money?” user @LoveBlackness81 asked on Twitter. “Im (sic) out here in LA on vacation and I saw the lot nice size and all. Family we can do this and let’s do it for our culture,” @JayCap215 chimed in.
Others criticized the campaign as a slap in the face to pan-Africanism and some even called it a scam, likening it to Umar Johnson’s fundraising for nearly a decade for a school that has yet to be built. “So it’s f**k Pan-Africanism, but continue to eat off the legacy of Pan-Africanists huh? Not that Tariq Nasheed & his FBA lackeys have any shame,” Twitter user @xspotsdamark wrote.
“I just saw 30 seconds of TN latest hustle. Hidden History Museum. I didn’t bother to watch the full 3 minute (sic) commercial. Good grief,” @Malkhattab wrote. “He got his own Umar hustle going,” @Be_Lyk added.
“Someone I follow said that it’s not true the land he promised he’s getting in la is designated for the new rail system,” user @WhurDeyDoDatAt responded. “So I’m thinking this a scam. And sadly, he raised $57k in a day.”
According to Nasheed’s campaign, “the only challenge” they face “is NOT reaching our financial goal.” It added there could also be “minor delays with building permits, or minor administrative delays. But other than these typical issues with general contracting, the project will go as planned.”