National Museum of African-American History & Culture
September 24, 2016 - President of the United States, Barack Obama and a select number of invited guest and celebrities and thousands of African Americans and other visitors gathered in Washington, D.C. to dedicate and open the newest federal museum, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

It is a stunning structure sitting in sight of the Washington Monument on the National Mall, the exterior of which is made up of 3,600 bronze-colored panels. The architects of the building drew on imagery from both African and American history for the outer layer, saying they were trying to reach towards the sky to express faith, hope and resiliency.

The building is three-tiered and is inspired by a traditional wooden column that features a crown or corona -- or African headdress -- at the top.

At night, the corona glows from the light within the building.

It was not lost on us that at the time the dedication was taking place, there was an unintended juxtaposition of three activities; one, a magnificent building unlike any other structure on the Mall, built on the last remaining parcel of land and in sight of the Washington Monument was being dedicated and opened for visitors; two, the dedication and opening being held during the administration of the first African American president; and three, rioting, violent protest and armed military patrolling the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina after the death of an African American man at the hands of the police.

In his remarks, President Obama said, "We're not a burden on America or a stain on America or an object of shame and pity for America. We are America, and that's what this museum explains. Hopefully, this museum makes us talk to each other and listen to each other and see each other.”
 

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