Latest posts by Tamika Morrison (see all)
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On September 24, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will open its doors. It’s the Smithsonian Institution’s 19th museum with 400,000 square feet to house and display some of the more than 35,000 artifacts that have been collected from all over the world.
The timeliness that the museum is set to open its doors at the end of the tenure of President Barack Obama and during a period where there is a need for clarity and understanding around issues of race are nothing short of divine.
This journey began in 2005 when the museum’s director, Lonnie Bunch was driving from Chicago to Washington, D.C., for a new job as the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch shares, “It was an opportunity, and an obligation to my community, that far outweighed my reservations.”
The museum will be dedicated fittingly by President Barack Obama, and will serve as a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience. They will have the chance to experience what it means to their lives and how it helped shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all, according to the museum’s site.
Other great finds at the museum will be the exhibit known as “Objects of Power” which includes historical artifacts from the museum as narrated by familiar voices such as, Physician and NASA Astronaut, Mae Jemison, Congressman and Civil Rights Leader, John Lewis, Political Activist, Angela Y. Davis, Media Proprietor, Oprah Winfrey, Singer/Songwriter Sheila E., just to name a few.
The grand opening weekend for the museum will have a concert featuring Living Colour, Public Enemy, The Roots, Experience Unlimited (EU), Meshell Ndegeocello, and a special guest to be announced.
The weekend will also feature Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration that will include musical performances, dance, spoken word, oral history activities, a drum circle, storytelling, and interactive workshops and a mural wall by artist Cey Adams.
There will be opportunities to explore and celebrate the museum’s rich content and stories. The festival will include all the Southern and Caribbean cuisine your heart desires including southern BBQ, soul food, Caribbean jerk, and more.
** The features highlighted in this article are from Smithsonian magazine’s September issue.
For more information, please visit www.smithsonianmag.com.