A museum filled with black history artifacts will open in the fall of 2015. Among those items will be a receipt for the purchase of a young woman as a slave. Five hundred million dollars will be invested in opening this branch of the Smithsonian. Businessweek reports that the purpose of the museum is not only for African-Americans, it is so that everybody can learn about the meaning of freedom.
Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) — An ordinary sales slip consigning a young woman to slavery is among the chilling items that will be displayed at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The $500 million branch of the Smithsonian in Washington breaks ground tomorrow for an opening in the autumn of 2015 that will add an ambiguous exclamation to the imposing line of culture palaces along the Mall.
A rendering of the museum’s design reveals it to be too polite to capture the tragic and redemptive African-American experience. Yet I can feel an exuberant Africanness struggling to escape the civic blandness imposed by fundraising, watchdog groups and design review that are part of building on America’s most sacred ground.
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