More pho­tos of ex­hibits at the new mu­seum.

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - Pho­tos and text by Kim Hairston

The Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture opens today on the Na­tional Mall in Wash­ing­ton. The bronze-hued, metal-lat­ticed struc­ture stands in con­trast to the mar­ble and stone of its neigh­bors. Inside there are 37,000 ar­ti­facts and nu­mer­ous video and au­dio dis­plays; 60 per­cent of the 400,000-square­foot mu­seum is lo­cated un­der­ground.

In the Septem­ber is­sue of Smith­so­nian Mag­a­zine, Lon­nie Bunch, the mu­seum’s di­rec­tor, writes: “The defin­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of African–Amer­i­can life has been the ne­ces­sity of mak­ing a way out of no way, of mus­ter­ing the nim­ble­ness, in­ge­nu­ity and per­se­ver­ance to es­tab­lish a place in this so­ci­ety. That ef­fort, over the cen­turies, has shaped this na­tion’s his­tory so pro­foundly that, in many ways, AfricanAmer­i­can his­tory is the quin­tes­sen­tial Amer­i­can his­tory. Most of the mo­ments where Amer­i­can lib­erty has been ex­panded have been tied to the African-Amer­i­can ex­pe­ri­ence. If you’re in­ter­ested in Amer­i­can no­tions of free­dom, if you’re in­ter­ested in the broad­en­ing of fair­ness, op­por­tu­nity and cit­i­zen­ship, then re­gard­less of who you are, this is your story, too.”

Among the 37,000 ar­ti­facts, as well as video and au­dio dis­plays, fea­tured at the mu­seum is this pre­sen­ta­tion com­mem­o­rat­ing the can­di­dacy and pres­i­dency of Barack Obama. The 400,000-square-foot mu­seum’s grand open­ing is sched­uled today.

A man walks past a por­trait of Su­san B. An­thony at the mu­seum. An­thony, best known for her ad­vo­cacy of women’s suf­frage, also worked to abol­ish slav­ery and es­tab­lish a racially in­te­grated so­ci­ety.

An ex­hibit dis­plays nine of the 10 Olympic medals won by track and field great Carl Lewis be­tween 1984 and 1996. He placed the 10th medal in his fa­ther’s cas­ket.

The Smith­so­nian’s Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture joins the Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment on the Na­tional Mall.

Be­hind a sculp­ture of Thomas Jef­fer­son at the mu­seum are bricks with the names of 609 peo­ple who were owned by Jef­fer­son dur­ing his life­time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.