Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture Is Officially Open

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture has officially opened and its dedication ceremony was one for the history books.

The dedication took place September 24, welcoming thousands who gathered to take a walk through the long-awaited facility. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Congressman John Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Ms. Patti LaBelle and more participated in the ceremony, while a slew of other celebs, like Debbie Allen and Lupita Nyong’o, all came out just to celebrate the occasion.

According to the museum’s official website, there are four pillars upon which the instiution stands:

  • It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions;
  • It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences;
  • It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture; and
  • It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington to engage new audiences and to collaborate with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.

The museum includes a number of artifacts and photos that are of significance to African American history, and American history, including Rosa Parks’ mug shot, costumes from the original Broadway production of The Wiz, Harriet Tubman’s shawl, Emmett Till’s coffin and so much more.

Take a look at some photos from the museum’s dedication below:

To find out more information about the NMAAHC, head on over to the official website.

Photo Credit: NMAAHC/Instagram