The Smithsonian, located in Washington DC, are museums that are more than museums. They are stories of the American past- the world’s past. They are art and space and wonder and imagination. Free to the public, they encourage thought, expression, and curiosity. The most recent addition, however, is truly a landmark.
The African American History and Culture museum opened on September 24, 2016 with President Barack Obama helping with the inauguration speech. The museum, whose development started in 2003, houses more than 36,000 artifacts that range from items that were once in Harriet Tubman’s possession to the uneven-bar grips that Gabby Douglas wore in the 2012 Olympics.
The museum covers an extensive, albeit short, history of African Americans, including items from slavery to the civil rights era in the 1960s to the current Black Lives Matter movement. Each highlights the complexity and importance of African American History.
While the cost is free, the museum is currently out of tickets until 2017. In August, when the tickets were first offered, they sold out in mere minutes. The pace at which they were taken illuminates the eagerness and excitement that the public expresses over the addition of the new museum. While the tickets for 2017 are not out yet, one can expect the same fervent approach to those as well.
The past of the United States is something that is complex, having as many achievements as ignorant moments. However this museum is being seen as a step in a new direction, and especially under today’s trying times it is being seen as truly a bright occasion.