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NewsPlus’ Robin Hamilton Visits the Smithsonian’s New Afro American Museum

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This month, the Smithsonian will unveil its newest addition – the 400, 000 square foot National Museum of African American History and Culture.

afro-am-sculpture

The museum, which is on the National Mall and in direct sight of the Washington Memorial, boasts more than 3,000 artifacts, many of which have never been seen by the public.

Items include Harriet Tubman’s hymn book, Rosa Parks’  dress, and a Tuskegee Airplane from 1944 used to train African Americans in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

tuskegee-airplane

When the decision to create the museum was officially discussed in 2003, organizers had nothing:  no money, no artifacts, and no location.  However, over the years, celebrities like Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey made significant donations to the museum.   Director Lonnie Bunch says those contributions, coupled with smaller gifts by every day citizens, helped make this museum a reality.

Divided into sections of history, community and culture, the museum aims to showcase the contributions African Americans made to this country.

The official opening will  be on September 24th, where President Obama and the First Lady will attend the dedication.    To learn more, you can go to: https://nmaahc.si.edu/