We recently watched the movie "Twelve Years a Slave" and it really helped to put this in perspective. Slavery is not a topic people are comfortable with and yet it's an important piece of our history. It's hard to fathom people treating other humans like this. I'd compare the feeling to the Holocaust Museum on a much smaller scale.
This is a small museum set in an actual slave mart in the downtown of beautiful Charleston. It was one of 40 slave marts. The outer buildings have been destroyed, but this building remains and the museum is the best use for it. There are not a lot of artifacts, but once you see the shackles it hits you. I imagine people did not want to keep these reminders of this terrible time.
The entry fee is $7 ($5 for seniors and children) and requires a lot of reading. This is not the place to bring young children - they become bored and distract other patrons. Allow 1 to 1 1/2 hours. There are a a few audio recordings and many written accounts. Use your imagination to recreate the events that happened here - especially if you see the above-mentioned movie. The docents at the entrance are helpful and informative. There is a small book shop.
The museum focuses on interstate slave trade; the upstairs travelling exhibit focuses on the civil rights movement. Self-guided tour.
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