Former staffers decry 'culture of racism' at Smithsonian's African Art museum: report
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Several former employees and board members are reportedly alleging a culture of racism dating back years at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art, or NMAfA.

In a letter to the first Black head of the Smithsonian Institution, Lonnie Bunch III, obtained by HuffPost, the group of ex-staffers described instances of racism they said had been reported by nearly a dozen current and former employees at the museum, whose names were not released. The racist culture at the museum, they said, endured under several changes in leadership.

“Persistent racial disparities at NMAfA are apparent in the application of institutional policies,” the letter read, HuffPost reported Tuesday.


“Recent events have brought deeper attention to systemic racism within museums across our country. In this spirit, we write to you to express our outrage about the current state of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art," it continued. “Our goal is to collectively express our concerns and to engage in building an equitable and inclusive museum for our community.”

The letter went on to specifically call for the resignation of the museum's current director, Christine Mullen Kreamer, who, according to the letter, faces multiple accusations of racist behavior and “consistent bullying and hostility” toward Black employees.

One former Black curator of the museum, Gus Casely-Hayford, is accused of taking little or no action to stop the incidents.

“This situation became particularly distressing under Gus Casely-Hayford, resulting in negative impacts on Black staff, as well as NMAfA’s reputation within the broader community,” the letter read.

The Smithsonian Institution did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill, and neither Kreamer nor Casely-Hayford provided comment to HuffPost.