The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), established by an Act of Congress in 2003, opened its doors to the public on Sept. 24, 2016. Wrapped in bronze and inspired by the three-tiered crowns used in West African art, the museum’s outer skin shines brightly near the center of the National Mall.
As the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution, it hosts America’s largest collection on African American artifacts, some 40,000 in total. Special highlights include items owned by Underground Railroad champion, Harriet Tubman, Emmett Louis Till’s glass casket, boxing gloves worn by Muhammed Ali, and a trumpet played by Louis Armstrong. 400 years after the first slaves arrived in the United States, America is facing up to its regrettable past and celebrating the beauty of African American contributions to not only this nation’s culture, but to the world’s.
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