There is nothing more important than the preservation of a people and their culture. The experiences of those people will interconnect with other cultures, but that which is profoundly unique to that set of people is and forever will be profoundly their own accomplishments and experiences.
On Wednesday, February 22, the ground was broken for the Smithsonian’s newest addition, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The President and First Lady along with former First Lady, Laura Bush, were in attendance to complete this momentous occasion. This collection of priceless artifacts from the African American experience will include 20,000 items. The items are from families’ personal collections. One instrumental item is a plane used to train Tuskegee Airmen.
Lonnie Bunch is the director of the museum and he is charged with the task of culminating a priceless collection while building a museum to house them. According to USA Today, the collection will include a bounty of treasures over a 200 year period:
“The historical trove includes a slave cabin, shackles worn by slaves brought from Africa and personal items belonging to abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The museum will house the early version of dog tags owned by a black Civil War soldier and shards of glass from a 1963 church bombing that killed four girls in Alabama. The bombing was a turning point in the civil rights movement that helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Read the full report at USA Today here. Also, watch below as Bunch attempts to explain the massive, but rewarding task at hand.