Bill Cosby announced last month that he plans to donate theproceeds from 10 of his performances to the U.S. National SlaveryMuseum.
At a formal dinner at the University of MaryWashington, Cosby, who has paternal and maternal ties to Virginia,said he owes his ancestors for staying alive while enduring thetragedies of slavery. Cosby, who is a member of the museum’s board,also said he hopes other entertainers will follow his example.
The museum, which is estimated to cost between$100 and $200 million, is scheduled to open in 2007 inFredericksburg, Virginia.
“We need history,” the FredericksburgFree-Lance Star reported Cosby said at the event in late September.”We need proof for our own children to see the struggle of ourancestors—not for white people to go with their heads bowed, butto make young African Americans see this is real.”
The donation could generate as much as $20million from ticket sales ranging from $40 to $75, varying by city.This donation is the first fundraising effort for the project.
The museum’s founder and chairman, L. DouglasWilder told the Washington Post, the museum will explain slavery asa global, economic story, rather than strictly as a tale ofAmerican racism.
Currently, the museum’s artifacts have drawnalmost 1,000 visitors and are on display until Oct. 8 at theuniversity’s Ridderhof Martin Gallery.