National Museum of African American History & Culture opens in DC

President George W. Bush signed the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act in 2003, establishing that there would be a national museum dedicated to African American history and culture. However, two years later when the museum’s director, Lonnie Bunch, was hired, there was, as he said, “no collection, no money, no staff, no site” for the museum. Bunch famously launched an Antiques Road Show-style program called Saving African American Treasures. His curators traveled across the country looking for artifacts people had held onto: old photos, clothing, clippings, books. The search resulted in some 40,000 objects, many of them donated. About 3,500 of those, including two dolls donated in memory of psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark, will be on display, when the new National Museum of African American History and Culture finally opens in Washington DC on September 24th.

Credits

Guests:
Vinson Cunningham - Writer - @vcunningham, Jacqueline Woodson - writer of books for children and adolescents - @JackieWoodson

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Matt Holzman, Anna Scott, Jolie Myers, Christian Bordal, Sarah Sweeney