On Saturday, the Smithsonian National African American History and Culture Museum was opened in the United States capital, Washington DC.
The African American Museum, which was built by Ghanaian architect David Adjoa, is located in the National Mall in Washington DC. The museum, located close to the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument, costs about $540m.
Getting the items for the Museum began in 2003 during the administration of George W Bush, who was also present at the ceremony, with his wife Laura Bush, and the Obamas.
President Obama gave a speech that highlighted the importance of slavery to the American story.
“It is a glorious story, the one that’s told here. It is complicated, and it is messy, and it is full of contradictions, as all great stories are.”
President Obama also made reference to the shootings of black men by white cops, stating that the slavery story needs to be told now more than ever. He added that the museum is a reminder “that routine discrimination and Jim Crow aren’t ancient history – it’s just a blink in the eye of history. It was just yesterday.”
“We should not be surprised that not all the healing is done. We shouldn’t despair that it’s not all solved, and knowing the larger story should remind us just how remarkable the changes that have taken place truly are.”
The African American museum contains artifacts from the slavery era and the Middle Passage, the civil war, Jim Crow segregation, integration and the advent of Obama as the first black president.
The ceremony was opened by 99-year-old Ruth Bonners a daughter of a slave, She was joined by her grand-daughter, first lady Michelle Obama, as they rang the freedom bell, an artifact believed to be from the first black baptist church in the US, founded in 1776.