Sept. 24, 2016, marked the opening of the largest museum dedicated to the legacy of Black Americans.
The Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture was not only crucial in that Black folks would witness markers of our history we’ve only read about, but the first Black president was there to celebrate the historical opening.
“Today, as so many generations have before, we gather on our national mall, to tell an essential part of our American story, one that has at times been overlooked,” Barack Obama said at the ceremony.
“Too often we ignored, or forgot, the stories of millions upon millions of others, who built this nation just as surely, whose humble eloquence, whose calloused hands, whose steady drive, helped to create cities, erect industries, build the arsenals of democracy,” he continued. “And so this national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are.”
“It is an act of patriotism to understand where we’ve been,” the 44th president continued.
Just days after the NMAAHC celebrated its 1-year anniversary, it added an exhibit dedicated to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The dedication comes after multiple requests from politicians to feature Thomas in NMAAHC. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was among the government officials to implore the museum on Thomas’ behalf, particularly since the museum honors Anita Hill, who accused the justice of sexual harassment in 1991. Thomas will be included in an exhibit titled “The Supreme Court.”
The museum attracts an average of 8,000 visitors a day.