Today is a really good day and even more timely! The first National Museum of African-American History has officially opened in Washington, D.C., and we could not be happier! This museum is far more than just a building or educational exhibit, it is the culmination of years of hard work and finally some recognition of the contributions and rich history of African-Americans in this country.
This past summer was marred with incidents of police brutality, riots, hate, and an ever deepening divide along racial lines. “Light into darkness” best describes the bittersweet nature of this scenario. Nonetheless, the 400K square foot building houses some amazing exhibits from eras of pre-colonial Africa, The Middle Passage, slavery in America, Reconstruction and Post-Civil War, The Civil Rights Movement, and modern history. Thus, it is only fitting the first Black President of The United States, Barack Obama, a true jewel of the struggle African-Americans have endured in this country, formally opened it today.
via The Washington Post
In a speech filled with reminders of America’s dark and not-so-distant past, and hopes for a brighter future, President Obama helped to inaugurate the National Museum of African American History and Culture today in Washington.
The country’s first black chief executive stood before a crowd of more than 7,000 official guests — and thousands more gathered on the National Mall — and repeated the words of poet Langston Hughes: “I, too, am America.”
“African American history is not somehow separate than the American story. It is not the underside of the American story. It is central to the American story,” Obama said.
Behind him, the 400,000 square-foot museum stood as a testament to that notion. Serving as home to more than 36,000 artifacts, the museum exists to both memorialize and educate, sharing the “unvarnished truth” of America’s past and celebrating the triumphs of its present.
“It helps us better understand the lives, yes, of the president, but also the slave, the industrialist but also the porter, the keeper of the status quo but also the activist seeking to overthrow that status quo, the teacher or the cook alongside the statesmen,” Obama continued. “By knowing this other story we better understand ourselves and each other.”
President Obama was joined by his wife, First Lady of The United States, Michelle Obama, Justices of The Supreme Court, and former President and First Lady, George and Laura Bush. Will Smith and Oprah too paid the opening a visit and also spoke on this momentous day. We are all so thrilled about this and are planning trips later this year to the museum! You all should do the same! Check out President Obama’s complete speech below!
Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning