The national museum of African American History and Culture will be opening on September 24.
To commemorate the opening, the historic “Freedom Bell” will ring. The bell usually hangs in the tower of First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA, which was a church founded by enslaved Africans.
“The connection between a congregation founded in 1776, the forging of First Baptist Church, the first black president opening the first national African-American museum, all of those dots are being connected.”
-Rev. Reginald Davis
The museum is one hundred years in the making, as the idea was first proposed in 1915 by black veterans who fought in the Civil War.
Multiple legislations have been passed, however, elected officials never allocated money for it.
This all changed when Congress passed the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act, a bill that makes the museum a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
The museum is 400,000 square feet, and it is located on the National Mall near the Washington Monument.
“The majority of the exhibition space is underground. On the bottom level, museum-goers will find themselves in literal and metaphorical darkness: slavery. Then, as they ascend, visitors move through exhibits exploring the Jim Crow era and the civil rights movement, until finally reaching light and joy — above-ground galleries devoted to culture, music, dance, literature.”
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