Obama opens new black his­tory mu­seum

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

WASH­ING­TON: Pres­i­dent Barack Obama hailed yes­ter­day the open­ing of the Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture, a long-awaited tes­ta­ment to black suf­fer­ing and tri­umph in the US.

The first black pres­i­dent of the US cut the rib­bon to in­au­gu­rate the strik­ing 400,000sq ft (37,000sq m) bronze-clad ed­i­fice be­fore thou­sands of spec­ta­tors gath­ered in the US capi­tol at a time of grow­ing racial fric­tion.

“African Amer­i­can his­tory is not some­how sep­a­rate from our larger Amer­i­can story. It’s not the un­der­side of the Amer­i­can story,” said Obama. “It is cen­tral to the Amer­i­can story.”

The star-stud­ded pub­lic cer­e­mony, just four months be­fore Obama leaves of­fice, in­cluded Ste­vie Won­der and Oprah Win­frey.

The Smith­so­nian’s 19th ad­di­tion to its sprawl­ing mu­seum and re­search com­plex is the first na­tional mu­seum tasked with doc­u­ment­ing the un­com­fort­able truths of the US sys­tem­atic op­pres­sion of black peo­ple, while also honour­ing the in­te­gral role of African Amer­i­can cul­ture.

“A clear-eyed view of his­tory can make us un­com­fort­able,” Obama said.

“It is pre­cisely of that dis­com­fort that we learn and grow and har­ness our col­lec­tive power to make this na­tion more per­fect. That’s the Amer­i­can story that this mu­seum tells.”

Mean­while, Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump, who is seek­ing to shore up sup­port among black vot­ers, stum­bled over the name of the new mu­seum.

He told thou­sands of sup­port­ers in Vir­ginia, yes­ter­day, the mu­seum is a “really beau­ti­ful place”.

How­ever, he called it the “Smith­so­nian na­tional mu­seum of Amer­i­can his­tory, African Amer­i­can art”. – AFP

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