Sunday, February 18, 2018

Black history museum breaks ground in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — Construction has begun on a landmark black history museum on a National Mall site, a mile from where Martin Luther King Jr. spoke and even closer to where the nation's largest slave market once stood. That contradiction reflects the complicated story the National Museum of African American History and Culture will try to tell its visitors when it opens in 2015.

President Barack Obama joined former first lady Laura Bush, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and Smithsonian Institution Secretary Wayne Clough for a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday that was punctuated by jazz and a cappella music.

"It is on this spot, alongside the monuments to those who gave birth to this nation and those who worked so hard to perfect it, that generations will remember the sometimes difficult, often inspirational, but always central role that African-Americans have played in the life of our country," Obama said.

The museum's director, Lonnie G. Bunch, faces the daunting task of turning those ideas into a 380,000-square-foot museum that will reveal the tragedy of the persecution blacks faced, while reflecting their triumphs and struggles to overcome discrimination.

"It must tell the unvarnished truth. Because this will be a museum that will have moments to make one cry, to ponder the pain of slavery and segregation, but a museum that soars on the resiliency of a people and will illuminate the joy and the belief in the promise of America," Bunch said.

The museum's three-tier copper pagoda will rise near the Washington Monument. Its collection will include objects from all periods of American history, including Harriet Tubman's hymnal and shawl, Louis Armstrong's trumpet and the glass-topped casket that originally held the body of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old boy whose murder in Mississippi in 1955 energized the civil rights movement.

A museum of black history in Washington was first proposed by black veterans of the Civil War, but that plan never came to fruition. The law creating the current museum was sponsored by Lewis and signed by President George W. Bush in 2003.

Comments
As athletes struggle, Kim Jong Un dreams of Olympic glory

As athletes struggle, Kim Jong Un dreams of Olympic glory

Dreams of East Germany? Though his athletes struggled in Pyeongchang, Kim Jong Un wants to turn North Korea into a sports powerhouse
Updated: 8 minutes ago
As athletes struggle, Kim Jong Un dreams of Olympic glory

As athletes struggle, Kim Jong Un dreams of Olympic glory

Dreams of East Germany? Though his athletes struggled in Pyeongchang, Kim Jong Un wants to turn North Korea into a sports powerhouse
Updated: 8 minutes ago

High court asked to iron out polling place clothing dispute

A Minnesota law that bars voters from wearing political hats, T-shirts, buttons and other apparel to the polls is about to get a look from the Supreme Court
Updated: 16 minutes ago

Philippines: Risks rising with China challenging US at sea

A Philippine diplomat says the risks of an armed conflict have increased in the disputed South China Sea with a militarily stronger China now able to challenge the United States, which used to be the dominant power in the strategic waterway
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Indonesia's Sinabung volcano unleashes towering ash column

Rumbling Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has shot billowing columns of ash more than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) into the atmosphere and hot clouds down its slopes
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Trump stays quiet on shooting victims, fumes over Russia

Trump stays quiet on shooting victims, fumes over Russia

President Donald Trump spent the weekend fuming over the Russia investigation, staying largely silent about the nearby Florida school shooting victims and the escalating gun control debate
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Sick tricks! Big Air bounds into Olympics on a high note

Sick tricks! Big Air bounds into Olympics on a high note

The tricks are sick! Big Air bounds into the Olympics on a high note
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Sick tricks! Big Air bounds into Olympics on a high note

Sick tricks! Big Air bounds into Olympics on a high note

The tricks are sick! Big Air bounds into the Olympics on a high note
Updated: 25 minutes ago
The Latest: Finland Olympic defenseman back after collision

The Latest: Finland Olympic defenseman back after collision

Finland defenseman Ronja Savolainen is back in the game, the very next period after a scary, face-first collision into the boards
Updated: 29 minutes ago
The Latest: Finland Olympic defenseman back after collision

The Latest: Finland Olympic defenseman back after collision

Finland defenseman Ronja Savolainen is back in the game, the very next period after a scary, face-first collision into the boards
Updated: 29 minutes ago