Black people have a long history in America that reaches back hundreds of years into the past. They have provided the cheap labor that this country needed in its early days to rise above other countries and become a world power. They have fought in all of our wars. Their cultural presence has seeped into the cultural fabric of our nation on many different levels.
During the the 1960s and 1970s, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, as well as a general change in American culture, awoke Americans to the plight of Black people. Black people, themselves became empowered. Ever since then, a lot of attention has been put on how society can help Black people and fix the wrongs that have been imposed on them by slavery and racism.
You would think that after all of this, there would have been a national museum dedicated toward African Americans decades ago. If you thought this, you were wrong. In fact, a national museum showcasing this subject only came about a year ago, in 2016.
In 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors for the first time. Since this was a historic event, there was a dedication by President Barack Obama and a three-day celebration.
The idea for this museum first came about in the early 1900s when a group of Black people who had served in the Civil War advocated for such a place. A number of decades later, there was a group of congressmen who pushed for 15 years to have a museum about African Americans built, thought they were never successful.
Government officials did not think that it was an important priority to build an African American museum. Politicians complained that it would be too expensive to build. Others said that if the African Americans got their way, the government would probably be forced into paying large sums of money for museums about other racial minorities. Some politicians expressed very obvious bigotry in their explanations.
In 2003, George Bush signed into law the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act, which established the plan to build the museum. The government, various charitable organizations and the Black community funded the construction of the museum.