For President Barack Obama, US history is a story of connections. Today, 24 September, during a speech at the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the president reminded that LGBT history is part of the larger US past.
While describing the history of the new Washington, DC museum the president noted the country’s overall history contains many stories that can speak to each other.
‘Hopefully this museum can help is talk to each other,’ the president said. ‘And more importantly listen to each other. And most importantly see each other; black, and white. Latino and Native-American and Asian- American. See how our stories are bound together. And bound together with women in America. And workers in America. And entrepreneurs in America. And LGBT Americans.’
This addition to the cultural landscape has been a dream for 100 years. As NPR reports, in 1915 black veterans of the Civil War made the original proposal. The idea languished until 2003, when Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush, signed the legislation allowing a national museum dedicated to the African-American experience.
According to the museum’s website, the building is now home of ‘more than 36,000 artifacts. Nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members of the museum. When the NMAAHC opens on September 24, 2016, it will be the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.’