“In a speech filled with reminders of America’s dark and not-so-distant past, and hopes for a brighter future, President Obama helped to inaugurate the National Museum of African American History and Culture today in Washington. The country’s first black chief executive stood before a crowd of more than 7,000 official guests — and thousands more gathered on the National Mall — and repeated the words of poet Langston Hughes: “I, too, am America.” ‘African American history is not somehow separate than the American story. It is not the underside of the American story. It is central to the American story,’ Obama said. Behind him, the 400,000 square-foot museum stood as a testament to that notion. Serving as home to more than 36,000 artifacts, the museum exists to both memorialize and educate, sharing the ‘unvarnished truth’ of America’s past and celebrating the triumphs of its present. It opens in the midst of a heated conversation about race, after two fatal police shootings of black men dominated the news this week. The African American story, Obama said, ‘perhaps needs to be told now more than ever.'”

Source: Jessica Contrera. The Washington Post. September 24, 2016. 

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