The Smithsonian Institute opened the highly-anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture on September 24th, 2016, in Chicago, United States of America.
Hundreds came out to the DuSable Museum of African American History for a free watch party and additional watch rooms were set up to accommodate the large crowd.
National Museum of African American History and Culture was built on five acres on the National Mall. The exhibits inside reflect hard work and dedication of all those that were involved.
The exhibits are equal parts celebration and somber reflection.
“Having a museum of this caliber in its rightful place recognizing the importance of our heritage, our history, is going to make our future much more peaceful, much more intelligent, much more understanding, much more tolerant,” said DuSable Museum President and CEO Perri Irmer.
One of the most talked about pieces is the original casket of Emmett Till. The casket was discarded in a shed in Burr Ridge Cemetery and discovered years after Till’s body was exhumed. It was donated by Till’s mother and restored by the museum.
Doctor Lonnie Bunch is the founding director of the museum, and he’s very proud of what it’s become.
“You can’t understand resiliency and strength without understanding the travails,” said Dr. Bunch.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama opened the new museum by ringing a bell from a historic African-American church.
Speaking at the dedication ceremony, Obama says the museum will give people a better understanding of themselves by teaching them about others – slaves, the poor, black activists, teachers. He says knowing their stories will help Americans understand each other better.
Obama says African-American history isn’t separate from the larger American story, but is a central part of the American story.