Washington, Feb 23 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Wednesday attended the groundbreaking ceremony of a new national African American history museum, saying it will serve “not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life”.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture — the 19th in the Smithsonian Institution — would be located on the National Mall in Washington D.C. adjacent to the Washington Monument. The ceremony took place on the museum’s five-acre site, reported Xinhua.
“I think about my daughters and I think about your children, the millions of visitors who will stand where we stand long after we’re gone,” Obama said at the ceremony. “And I want them to appreciate this museum not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life.”
“When future generations hear these songs of pain and progress and struggle and sacrifice, I hope they will not think of them as somehow separate from the larger American story. I want them to see it as central — an important part of our shared story,” he added.
The museum will be the country’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to showcasing African American life, art, history and culture.
Construction of the museum will begin in the summer this year and is expected to take three years, costing about $500 million, with half being raised by the museum and the rest provided by Congress.