TYLER, Texas — The Texas African American Museum and the Empowerment Community Development Corporation held its annual gala and fundraiser Saturday night.
The goal was to raise $100,000 to expand and renovate the museum located on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Tyler
That goal was surpassed at the gala, with guest speaker Dr. Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the former wife Muhammad Ali, who announced she was donating $1 million to the museum. Dr. Camacho-Ali was married to the boxing great from 1967-1976.
"All I can say before I make my speech is I am actually going to donate $1 million to the Texas African American Museum," said Dr. Camacho-Ali. "I'm here to express the fact that we need to know our history, we do not have a future without it. We don't live in the past, but we learn from the past."
She also shared her personal story and the journey she and Muhammad Ali shared during the Civil Rights era; along with the legacy her ex-husband still carries today.
Dr. Camacho-Ali says her love for Black history inspired her to give this generous donation to the museum in an effort to help expand and educate the East Texas community.
"It's very important," said Dr. Camacho-Ali. "I'm an educator and I love to have deep and in-depth information about our history. This is education for our future children, they need to know and be impacted by what's been told in their story, positive or negative; it's all a plus in the long run."