African American museum coming to the Smithsonian

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Construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is scheduled to be begin construction on the National Smithsonian Mall in 2012 and will be completed in 2015. This will be the last museum built on the Mall and will exclusively encapsulate the wonderful treasures of the African American experience from the cultural history perspective.

NMAAHC recently held a special reception and lecture to introduce the museum, at a private residence of Sinclair Skinner. John W. Franklin was the special guest lecturer; son of John Hope Franklin, a world-renowned historian and author of the book, From Slavery to Freedom, a series chronicling the journey of African Americans.
Franklin is the Director of Partnerships and International Programs. He spoke about the importance of remembering the legacy of the African American people and how the museum will prove to be a cultural milestone for the African American race and preservation of its history. He also discussed some of the upcoming exhibits that are currently taking place, although the museum isn’t officially open.

Although the reception was held to bring awareness about the upcoming construction of the museum, it was also held to help raise money for the project. The Central Major Gifts Officer, Anna Barber was on hand to help motivate guests to donate to the project.

Mr. Skinner, who hosted the event, commented during the reception that, “It’s important that we give to this museum. We give to a lot of stuff that has no cultural significance, so we can give to something that will uplift our people.” One of Skinner’s co-hosts Channing Hawkins said, “This event was particularly important to me because young people like me need to get into the habit of giving to worthy causes and being better informed about our past history.”
Established in 2003 after former President George W. Bush signed legislation adding the museum to the Smithsonian Institution, the museum will feature over 400 years of African American history and offer a wide variety of exhibits and presentations.

“For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” is the current exhibit featured by the museum on the second floor of the National Museum of American History, where the museum is temporarily housed, until its official site opens. Civil Rights activist, Lawrence Guyot was also in attendance. He gave opening remarks for the event and encouraged the crowd to continue to study African American history. He said, “It is an integral part of our society and we can’t move forward without not only recognizing, but understanding our past.”
To find out more information about the museum and about how you can join and donate please visit http://nmaahc.si.edu/

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