WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture opens this week, a century after black citizens in Washington, D.C., dreamed up the idea.
The new museum on the National Mall captures four centuries of what it means to be black in America.
Visitors begin by descending to the basement, then wind their way through the origins of slavery, to the bonds of Jim Crow, to an integrated society.
Exhibits on the upper floors highlight the contributions of black in the military, sports, music, the visual art, film and television and other areas of American life.
Visitors can also eat at a cafe featuring authentic black cuisine from four regions of the country.
Thousands are expected to attend the museum’s inaugural weekend. President Obama speaks at a dedication ceremony on Saturday.