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“Finally the Rest of the Story”

(Editor’s note: We were delighted to receive this review of the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture by Georgia McDade. This sensitive approach to the exhibits and the overall idea of such a museum is eloquently related.)

I was well pleased the night Barack Obama accepted the nomination to run for President; I was there in Denver, Colorado. I was calm the night President Obama was elected. I was calm at the second election—very happy, but calm. I attended both inaugurations. I never shed a tear. But this National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has almost made me cry, more than once.

Never had I seen so much history including African Americans in one place, so many items, so many descriptions, so many persons. There is so much with which I can relate, I know, I understand. And there were so many people—30,000 in two days I’m told—who with a look, a nod, a touch said, “I know what you are feeling.” From timber from the sunken slave ship São José where 212 Mozambican slaves drowned to today’s celebrities and countless persons and events between, the NMAAHC (National Museum of African American History and Culture) covers American History, specifically that American History that does not always get covered. Whether pride or humiliation, good or bad, the emphasis is placed on African Americans, our stories told by us.

To be able to see so much history at one site was never something I could have imagined. And yet, Mr. Lonnie Bunch III and his amazing crew managed to c