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  • Originally published 06/18/2013

    Fairfax man one of nation's top collectors of African America

    He’s a white, 67-year-old jazz saxophone player from Takoma Park. And now, from his townhouse in Fairfax County, Mark E. Mitchell has amassed a collection of African American memorabilia which places him at the forefront of experts in African American history, and which became a driving force in the creation of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.The Post’s Lonnae O’Neal Parker crafted a superb profile of Mitchell which appeared in Sunday’s Post Magazine, and you should read it now. Among other things we learn, as we see and read about items such as a handwritten poem by 18th-century slave Phillis Wheatley, is that a number of Redskin players used to visit Mitchell to learn about their history, and that he pushed then-Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) to join Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to pass the legislation creating the African American museum on the Mall. Groundbreaking took place last year and the opening is scheduled for 2015....