Richmond, Va., Mayor and museum founder Douglas Wilder told the National Press Club Tuesday corporations that benefited from slavery ought to reach into their pockets for this cause.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports more than $50 million in cash and pledges have been raised -- out of the $200 million needed to build and operate the museum in Fredericksburg, Va.
Entertainer Ben Vereen spoke in support of the project -- challenging corporate America to come through with donations.
"We've bought your cars," he said. "We've smoked your cigarettes. We've built your industries. Now it's time to tally up."
He is scheduled to hold a fundraising concert for the museum in New York City Feb. 19.