African American History museum opens to the public

Behind the Scenes Preview: Museum of African American History & Culture

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture opens to the public in Washington, D.C. Saturday.

Nearly 4,000 artifacts will be on display in exhibits, including Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves, Harriet Tubman’s hymn book, Rosa Parks’ dress and other items dating back to the 18th century.

The museum is aimed at diverse audiences.

Photos | Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History building

"White, black, Latino - whether our families have been here 200 years or got here 20 minutes ago, this is a story that helps us better understand who we are as Americans,” said museum director Lonnie Bunch.

Now, lesser known stories will be shared with the masses.

"The Pacific Parachute Company was the first - if not the only - war production plant that was owned and operated by African Americans during World War II,” said exhibitions curator Kathleen Kendrick.

When Henry Boyd bought his freedom, he built a furniture factory parts of his business was burned down several times, but he rebuilt and continued to sell regardless for three decades.

Photos | Artifacts from Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture

One part of history not on full display: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s key artifacts like his Nobel Peace prize and Bible. Some of his belongings will be on-hand, but not those for immediate relatives of the king family reportedly did not agree to share items with the Smithsonian.

Click here for more on the museum.

Photos | Artifacts from slavery at the African American History Museum


(© 2016 WXIA)


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