By John Balson @JJBalson
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Videographer / Director: Ruaridh Connellan
Producer: John Balson, Chloe Browne
Editor: Sonia Estal
Eric Edwards from Bedford-Stuyvesant - a neighbourhood made famous by rappers Jay Z and Biggie Smalls - has collected more than 1,600 artefacts over the last 44 years.
The 68 year old, who travelled the world to acquire his collection, now hopes to share it with the world by opening up a museum to celebrate African culture.
He said: "I don’t think that there is enough pride in African heritage in America and that’s not due to any fault of African Americans.
"The lack of knowledge of the history of African culture and history in America is really due is a remnant of our vestiges that we still have from over 400 years of slavery.
"I think there is a real need for a museum of African culture in Bed-Stuy, partly because of the fact that the highest concentration of people of African decent in the United States live in Brooklyn."
Eric values his collection at $10m, based on his experience of auctions and expertise in African Artefacts.
A top appraisal and valuation company is currently evaluating it ahead of the opening of the museum.
Eric was introduced to African art and culture by his father, who moved to America from Barbados when he was 18.
He said his father had been struck by the level of racism in Brooklyn when he arrived, something he'd not previously experienced.
"Because of the racism he knew his children would encounter the same as we entered the public school system," said Eric, who has also amassed a huge collection of 40,000 vinyl records and a smaller amount of baseball cards and antique clocks.
"He felt it was important that we knew our history, and our culture and where we came from."
Over four decades, the retired technology consultant amassed thousands of items, buying much of his art in the seventies when he was able to get it for better value.
"I went to auctions and the sales and the galleries and I used to travel extensively around the world. I started purchasing pieces when they were truly affordable and started building my collection."
The pieces represent all 54 countries in Africa, with artefacts dating back to the Nubian empire.
Most were made for ceremonies or were embodiments, symbols and emblems of power.
Among them is a unique palace drum from Nigeria that is estimate to be worth a $1m (£640,000) and due to go on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this month.
But rather than keep his collection behind closed doors, Eric wants to share his artefacts with the public in the hope of educating people about African culture - and is trying to crowd-fund $35,000 (£22,000) for the venture through a Kickstarter campaign.
For more information visit… https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/711740227/cultural-museum-of-african-art-eric-edwards-collec