Smithsonian Offers Sneak Peek of Museum of African-American History

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tags: Smithsonian, Museum of African American History



On the lowest level of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, set to open this September, there is a series of inscriptions on a sprawling far wall. It’s known as the Founding Wall, meant to introduce visitors to the major themes that inform the space: freedom, democracy, and America’s uphill journey to ensure both for all of its citizens.

The quotes will usher visitors along in a very deliberate way; starting with the Declaration of Independence and ending with a quote by journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells. “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”

In a way the museum itself, a building a decade in the making that has been a hope for many for nearly 100 years, is hoping to be that light. For proof, look no further than the architecture. About 60% of the building is below ground level, but every level has access to natural light. An skylight allows visitors on the underground floor to get a glimpse of what’s above. Floor-to-ceiling windows wrap the buildings ground floor, offering a panoramic view of the National Mall.




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