Save Lest We Forget Slavery Museum

$1,610 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 45 months
Established in 2002, Lest We Forget Slavery Museum (LWF) is the only Philadelphia area museum with actual slavery artifacts that reveal the history of how different coming to America was for enslaved Africans. Hundreds of shackles, manacles, branding irons and other forms of ironware are displayed throughout. Numerous Bill of Sale documents reveal how slaves were bought and sold like chattel property are on display. Also included, are a significant number of Jim Crow objects purposely created to negatively depict Negroes and further fan the fires of bigotry that led to lasting racist attitudes toward African Americans today. Several exhibits ranging from the capture of Africans to the emancipation of African Americans and the contributions they made in the building of America are included in the guided tours. This small-sized museum contains a huge amount of history not generally found in many history books raises visitors' level of consciousness and awareness. The exclusive LWF "Killed by Others - Killed by Brothers" exhibit provides a direct and disturbing correlation between violence dealt to blacks by others during and post slavery with the genocidal killings currently affecting many black communities by brothers today. LWF slavery museum reveals a dark and tragic period in American history while also shedding a positive light of understanding the value of this historic period and the knowledge it provides.

The horrendous winter of 2013 wreaked havoc on the 18,000 square foot building which houses the 3,500 square foot LWF museum. As a result we are desperately in need of a new roof, electrical work and general repairs. Without the much needed funding LWF museum is in jeopardy of going away along with the display of rare artifacts and valuable knowledge we provide. Not only will the funding enable us to replace the roof and do other desperately needed repair work to our building; a 1950's former rubber gasket factory, we will also be able to expand our museum space and exhibit even more of our garnered collectibles and artifacts presently in storage. Without financial support we will be forced to close our doors indefinitely.
Any amount of donation will be greatly appreciated and utilized as previously mentioned. We thank you for your consideration of our plea for financial assistance and hope that you will find our labor of love and gift of knowledge to the general public one worthy of your support.   With the utmost appreciation, J. Justin and Gwen Ragsdale, Curators, Lest We Forget Slavery Museum 
For more information visit our website:
To contribute go to:


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Dear Friends of Lest We Forget Slavery Museum:

We wanted to update you on our fundraising efforts, if you recall we started this campaign to raise funds to make repairs to our roof which was greatly damaged last winter. While we're no where near our goal we've managed to use our own monies along with the funds we've raised to patch up as much as we could but water continues to get inside the building and damage the walls, carpets, floors and even our electrical system. With the winter months fast approaching we can no longer put our rare artifacts and exhibits at risk; we will be forced to put our rare collection in storage and close our doors indefinitely. This is not just about a roof, its about preserving an institution, a teaching institution; one like no other in the Philadelphia area or even in the region.
Lest We Forget Slavery Museum holds the most vast collection of authentic slave shackles, documents and other related items that tell the history of enslaved Africans who were held in bondage for hundreds of years yet managed to build America and paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we have today.
If you've visited our museum or seen our traveling exhibits then you know first-hand just how powerful our slave artifacts are and how much our exhibits inform and educate. Visit our website to see what we offer:
What we provide is needed now more than ever!
With your help not only can we get a new roof and make necessary building repairs but more importantly we can continue to teach our children the God-given strength, endurance and greatness of our ancestors. Imagine, NO don't just imagine, DO IT!
If 1000 friends and supporters would contribute $10 or more we can continue to provide invaluable lessons and preserve our rare collection. We appeal to all forward-thinking, conscientious individuals to support our efforts so that we can increase an awareness of how history is repeating itself.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
"We Must Remember the Legacy of Slavery,
Lest We Forget".

The Ragsdale's

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Dear LWF Supporters:
We have just reached a mere 2.9 % of our goal. We thank everyone for their donations and encouraging words of support. Since opening our doors in 2002 we have operated out-of-pocket. From building and creating exhibit space to writing the contexual panels that accompany our informative exhibits. In order to continue to provide what we believe is an important message that enables us to move forward by understanding from whence we came we desperately need funding and support. Anything you can provide not only in the way of donations but in-kind services as well (construction, grant writing, etc.) You can also schedule a museum visit or our traveling slavery exhibit for your family reunion, camp, school or church . For more information visit our website:

Also, Gwen Ragsdale wrote a book, Peculiar Relationships about the evolving relationships between black women abd white women from slavery to current day. It's available for purchase go to:
Thank you in advance for your consideration
J. Justin & Gwen Ragsdale, LWF Curators
Peculiar Relationships by Gwen Ragsdale
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UPDATE: We have just reached the thousand dollar mark since posting our GoFund campaign. Thank you so much for your donations, forwarding our message to your networks as well as for your prayers and words of encouragement. We encourage you to visit our museum (by appointment) and schedule our traveling exhibit which we bring to camps, bible schools, summer programs, etc. will also help support our efforts. Every dollar helps! Thank you for your continued support. We will continue to keep you updated.

Sincerely, J. Justin & Gwen Ragsdale, Curators Lest We Forget Slavery Museum
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$1,610 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 30 people in 45 months
Created June 22, 2014
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14 months ago
Carolyn Barcomb
35 months ago

Thank you for all your work.

Adrienne Harris
42 months ago

Learned much from your awesome presentation at MKA Institute on 9/29/2014. We must learn and never forget our history.

42 months ago
Yvonne Broaddus
44 months ago

I only wish I was at liberty to give more, but if every black person from the north to south gave $10 you would have no problem meeting this goal. I will send this message to my friends and hope that this museum will remain in tact.

Phillip Seitz
45 months ago

Thank you for all the effort you've invested in this important work.

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