Descendant of slave who stole rebel ship named museum head

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – The great-great-grandson of a slave who commandeered a Confederate ship and took it to Union forces blockading the South Carolina coast is the new president and CEO of the planned $75 million International African American Museum in Charleston.

Museum officials announced on Friday that Atlanta businessman Michael Boulware Moore, who has deep family roots in South Carolina, will head the museum, which officials hope will open in late 2018.

Moore is a direct descendant of Robert Smalls, who made history by commandeering the steamboat Planter in 1862. Smalls later went on to become a South Carolina congressman during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War.

The museum is planned for a site of a former wharf where tens of thousands of slaves first set foot in North America.

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