September 24 marked the first anniversary of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, more affectionately known as my home away from home.
From Day One, NMAAHC has had the people’s stamp of approval. In its first year, the museum has welcomed more than two million visitors. Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the museum, said:
We are so grateful to America for making this first year unprecedentedly successful. This first anniversary gives us at the Smithsonian the opportunity to thank everyone for this incredible gift and for making it possible to continue our mission to help America grapple with history by seeing their past through an African American lens – and ultimately help Americans find healing and reconciliation.
NMAAHC has received the stamp of approval of the U.S. Postal Service which issued the “Celebrating African American History and Culture” Forever stamp.
The numbers show that the National Museum of African American History and Culture is a gift to the American people:
- Almost 2.5 million visitors walked through the 400,000-square-foot building.
- Of those visitors, 922 were ambassadors.
- About 10,000 of all 2.5 million people who passed through were between the ages of 4 and 7 years old.
- About 3,000 objects were on display while NMAAHC’s permanent collection is more than 13 times that size, at almost 40,000 objects.
For more info, check out “NMAAHC’s First Year by the Numbers.”
The newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture was 100 years in the making The dream of black Civil War veterans was fulfilled on September 24, 2016. With the ringing of the First Baptist Church Freedom Bell, President Barack Obama opened the doors to a view of African American history and culture through an African American lens.
I was in DC for the grand opening ceremonies.
I did not visit the Museum because I did not want my first visit to be rushed (I have tickets for October and November). So I spent the weekend reveling in the Freedom Sounds Festival. It was comforting to see the ancestors presiding over the community celebration.
By the way, Ray Charles’ “Lonely Avenue” was remixed into a freedom song, “Fighting for My Rights.”
On my visit to the Museum on October 3rd, my first stop will be the Slavery gallery. If time permits, I’ll check out the Music collection. My plan is to check out one gallery on each visit.
Are you ready to visit? Admission is free, but you need a timed pass. You’ll have to plan ahead because Museum tickets are sold out for the rest of the year. Passes for Museum admission between January and March 2017 will be available online starting Oct. 3 at 9 a.m.
For more info, check out Top 10 Things To Know About Visiting the Museum.
It’s been more than a decade in the making, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will open on September 24. Founding Director Lonnie Bunch wrote:
After 13 years of hard work and dedication on the part of so many, I am thrilled. In a few short months visitors will walk through the doors of the museum and see that it is a place for all people. We are prepared to offer exhibitions and programs to unite and capture the attention of millions of people worldwide. It will be a place where everyone can explore the story of America through the lens of the African American experience.
The National Museum of American History is asking citizen curators to vote on photos from its Archives Center that reflect the diversity of the African American experiences. Twenty-five photos, six of which selected by the public, will go on display in September to commemorate the opening of the new museum. For more information, visit http://s.si.edu/PhotoVote1. Voting closes May 27 at midnight ET.
To say I can’t wait is an understatement. Even though I get no closer than the “No Trespassing” sign, I stop by the museum on every trip to DC.
On Opening Day, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be open for 24 hours. I plan to skip President Barack Obama’s ribbon cutting and visit after midnight. I hope to spend some quiet time in the Contemplative Court reflecting on the ancestors and their incredible stories of faith, struggle and triumph.
Great Gosh A’Mighty! Been a long time coming.