Today marks the official opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Located in Washington, D.C., it is now the only museum in the U.S. that’s main emphasis is African-American culture, life and history. The grand opening will be brought forth by a three-day festival event which will feature the likes of Angela Bassett and Robert De Niro reciting the works of black poets and historians in addition to musical performances via Stevie Wonder and Patti Labelle.
In addition to the thousands who will be in attendance, Barack and Michelle Obama will also be present for a very special dedication ceremony. Numerous moments in history will be covered throughout the space such as slavery, the Civil Right Movement, the end of segregation, and much more. Additional areas such as the military, arts, entertainment and sports also place emphasis upon African American contributions with items like Michael Jackson’s fedora hat worn during his “Victory Tour,” Jackie Robinson’s baseball bat and gear from Muhammad Ali.
The centerpiece of the museum will be the timeline of slavery and freedom. A copy of the Emancipation Proclamation will be displayed, as well as a book of hymns via Harriet Tubman and a dress Rosa Parks was in the process of making prior to her arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus.
Additional information regarding the National Museum of African American History and Culture can be found here.