More than a century after its original proposal, President Obama facilitated the ceremony to open the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. During the dedication ceremony, President Obama remarked that the museum revealed the stories often overlooked in history textbooks. He claimed that while it was important to know the history of the American presidents and famous industrialists, it was also equally as important to know the struggles of the slaves and the common African man during those times. Obama said it provided the back story and keener understanding for many of the conflicts of the current era.
Obama continued his speech by pointing out the fact that the love for a country and violently protesting against its leaders have always walked hand in hand with people winning gold at the Olympics yet joining violent rally, with teens wearing anti-authority slogans on their t-shirts yet weeping for dead police and the list of contradictions goes on. However, despite these differences, Americans have always banded together when the need arose and that is what seems to count the most. The museum serves as a reminder that heroes, no matter how famous or quietly influential, have helped shape the nation to what it is today.
The museum opening comes with a three-day gala, which includes oratorical performances, concerts, dance, musical performances and history activities though passes for the entire opening weekend are completely sold out. The idea was first proposed by black veterans who fought in the Civil war in 1912 and the museum has been organised to reflect their struggle, moving from subjects that are dark and moody such as slavery and the movement for civil rights to a brighter, more joyful atmosphere containing modern as well as classical music, literature and other culturally devoted exhibits. The museum has collected more than 35,000 artifacts including a slave cabin and the fedora Michael Jackson wore.