With much anticipation, we tuned into the long-awaited opening of the Smithsonian’s latest the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Having not followed the decade-long development process that led to Saturday’s opening, it strikes me as odd that this particular telling of US history had not been given form and place earlier. It’s lateness to the national scene makes the opening all the more moving and poignant.
Presided over the ceremony, President Obama set the tone opening with the words of James Baldwin, “For while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.”
As the ceremony preceded our minds were already blessed with a mental picture of what’s inside. We were lucky to have visited a week previous when the museum opened, amid its furious final construction push. Looking past some of the blue taped and incomplete exhibits, our visit was nevertheless an incredible experience.