African American History Museum Takes Shape on National Mall

Jacqueline DelPilar, Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, August 12, 2013

From behind the fence on Constitution Avenue, passersby can hear the pounding of nails and rumble of machinery. The only thing to see is tall cranes and other equipment.

But the production team and Smithsonian curators know that this construction site is much more than noise and mess–it’s the beginning of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Although the museum is currently a hole in the ground, museum Deputy Director Kinshasha Holman Conwill said there has been significant progress in the construction. The building remains on track to open in 2015.


The newest Smithsonian museum will boast seven floors of African American history. It will feature history beginning in the African slave trade and ending in the present day.

“It encapsulates an important moment in American history when a group of people who were torn from the shores of Africa began an extraordinary journey, but also began an extraordinary set of contributions to American history, culture, law, life–all aspects of the America experience,” Conwill said.

The museum will not tread lightly on the more graphic and difficult moments in African America history. Guests may find it difficult to look at the child-sized slave shackles that will be in the museum. These rusted cuffs attached to a metal bar were attached to legs or arms of slaves  to keep them imprisoned. The child-sized shackles and other items are currently on display in the temporary African American history exhibit in the National Museum of American History across the street from the new museum.

The exhibits will bring an in-depth look into all aspects of African American history. Music, sports, military and more will be featured throughout the 400,000 square foot museum.


One large artifact the museum is excited about is a slave cabin from Edisto Island, S.C. The Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society donated it to the museum because of its great significance to African American history. The cabin will be the central piece of the museum’s “Slavery and Freedom” inaugural exhibit.


The process of building the museum has been in the works for a decade.

At the groundbreaking ceremony in February 2012, President Barack Obama told the audience,  “This day has been a long time coming. The idea of a museum dedicated to the history of African Americans was first put forward by black veterans of the Civil War. Years later, the idea was picked up by members of the civil rights generation.”

Legislation for the museum passed in 2003, and a construction site was chosen on the National Mall in January 2006. This is the 19th Smithsonian museum, and the first museum devoted solely to the history of African Americans.


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  • Hal K

    I just hope I live to see it bulldozed.

    • Romulus

      Yes ,bulldozed with a MOAB!! Mother of all bombs, capable of annihilating an entire grid. 1000by 1000 meters!!

    • Spartacus

      If the maintenance is done by blacks, odds are you’re gonna see it collapse on it’s own.

      • exLibtard

        I’m sure contracts have been set aside for black-owned businesses.

        • sbuffalonative

          One would think they would have demanded ONLY blacks be involved in this project; you know, just how they built the Capitol and the White House (and designed Washington DC).

          In the future, they won’t be able to make that claim.

          I guess they had to make a few concessions for reality.

      • IstvanIN

        If that is the case it will end up like the Denver airport.

    • cancerous bananna

      It’s just a hole in the ground now….


      And it will be 50 years from now!

    • Irishgirl

      It will probably be destroyed by a black in a hate-crime hoax.

  • A Freespeechzone

    One can only imagine how history will be rewritten to further demean the White man and justify further unprovoked violence against Whites in retribution.

    It’s ‘pay back’ time…..

    • Oil Can Harry

      I just wish the museum was located in the middle of Detroit or East St. Louis and featured images of how those cities looked when they were majority-white.

  • MekongDelta69

    African American History Museum Takes Shape on National Mall

    What ‘shape’? – A mud hut with a thatched straw roof that ‘Kinshasha’ (the ‘lady’ in the pic) personally built?

    • IstvanIN

      You would prefer Leopold?

  • Funruffian

    Would they bother to exhibit all the contributions to crimes as mass murders, hate crimes, rapists, robbers, burglars and identity thieves of the African American history? The Black crime experience far outweighs any other achievement they claim and would require at least 7 more floors of space.
    All one has to do is read up on the Color of Crime and that should entail all you need to know about the African American experience.

  • Spartacus

    Museum… Jesus, the entire history of black “accomplishments” can fit in my shoe. I just hope I’m not wearing my lucky socks, because I hear peanut butter doesn’t come off that easy…

  • David Ashton

    What happened to that proposal for just one Museum of Communist Crimes?

    • Sick of it

      They realized they could never buy enough space to house everything and gave up…

    • Oil Can Harry

      That was cancelled when they realized that Jewish apparatchiks in the Soviet Union killed more people than even Hitler did.

      • Antipodean WN

        Exactly. And when is Amren going to name the real culprit behind all this sh$%?

  • bigone4u

    What a great use of our tax dollars–a monument to black victimization that preaches the Cultural Marxist theme that all whites are racist and all blacks are victims. There needs to be an African-American Crime Museum documenting the savagery and stupidity of black criminality in America. Some Whites might even wake up to the fact that the lynchings of blacks were JUSTIFIED by their criminal acts.

    • White Mom in WDC

      Was just thinking about taxes. This country is in so much debt and people are out of work, etc. Why is this museum being built? Another turd painted gold

  • bubo

    the museum is currently a hole in the ground

    A more accurate description of African American culture cannot be made.

  • APaige

    A ‘little’ light on achievements. The ‘invention’ area of the museum is a giant jar of peanut butter.

    • JDInSanDiego

      You’re giving them way too much credit. Just google black invention myths.

    • dukem1

      7 floors…
      5 of them probably given over to hip-hop and rap.
      Good God!

  • A 400,000 foot room for meditation, because there is going to be very of value to observe.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    Hey Kinshasha Pedantic Zipcoonette, I’ll start up the history lesson back in the muthaland for you…

    One day evil Whitey sailed a little too far south and found a land of remarkable beauty and amazingly atavistic people. The foolish evil Whiteys, possessed of more evil Whitey manufactured goods than they could use, and interested in finding some natural resources to trade for with these highly advanced items (like dyed and sewn clothing, firearms, highly distilled spirits, forks and spoons, fire) approached these curious folk, showed them their goods, and inquired as to what these natives had to trade.

    Gold or saltpeter or mineral wealth?


    Cash crops?


    Um…what you guys got?

    Uh…well… We gots all deez n****s! Take all yous wants! Gibsmedat booze an guns an fancy clothes! Takes deez n****s! We gots plenty and we sho don’t wan ’em.

    Thus the journey beginified…

    • Sick of it

      I was just reading up on the history of some of the nations along the western coast of Africa a few days ago. Several mainly focused on slaves as a commodity for trade. Not that that tidbit will show up anywhere in the museum of African American history.

      • NeanderthalDNA

        Ever read “Of the Negroes in Negroland” by the prescient if histrionic Hinton Helper?

        Gold mine, it’s a free download – google it and get it if not already owned.

        Apparently many ebony queens were in effect little more than baby factories, popping them out far faster than they could feed them, keeping enough around to wait on them hand and foot and selling the excess off to other negros for slavery or food or sex or whatever.

        It’s a long, hallowed tradition with the Bantu, and it’s currently breaking our bank since theyze beeez jus like us and we gotta look after our poor baby ridden bruthas.


        • Sick of it

          Yep, it’s a good read.

    • dukem1

      “Beginified.” Great neologism…sounds like something you could conversate about when you be gettin’ your knowledge on.

      • NeanderthalDNA


        “Enbiggened” – Simpsons. Not meant as a “negrologism” but evocative of it.

        1. Look up Uncle Ruckus’s excorcism on youtube. “The n****r will use words he doesn’t know the meaning of…”

        2. Actually I got it slightly wrong on another post, talking about the lost art of minstrelsy. I implied that the “interlocutor” delivered the “stump speech”, a precursor to the stand-up comedy routine. In fact it was the “end man” who did so, sprinkling the monologue with hilarious “negrologisms” and assorted buffoonery…

  • So CAL Snowman

    One more reason NEVER to visit D.C. and I can proudly say I have never been to that hell hole of a “capital” city.

  • Stentorian_Commentator

    Man, most of us now want to tear them away from the gubmint teat here and send them back! We should put those shackles to use once more!

  • Nick Gherz

    Turd polish.

  • Easyrhino1

    Since blacks don’t go to museums, who’s the intended audience?

    • Spartacus

      Japanese tourists probably.

      • IstvanIN

        Fly that far and spend all that money to see what???

        • Spartacus

          Diversitry !

          • IstvanIN

            They are so lucky to have almost no diversity. Better to spend that money on fertility treatments for the Imperial Family.

    • din_do_nuffins

      White kids.

    • Andy

      Black school kids.

      • BarnyL

        Well you’ll never get them into a library.

    • sbuffalonative

      As with the Holocaust Museum, they’re going to bus kids in from every school as far as they can. That’s how you artificially drive up attendance figures.

      After all, who in their right mind would voluntarily visit such places?

    • JackKrak

      Every public school kid within a five hour drive of DC will be taken there every year.

    • BarnyL


  • din_do_nuffins

    White school children will dedicate their lemonade stand profits to buying admission tickets to the museum, while black “youth” will be allowed to charge to their EBT cards.

    White parents will be “proud” their little White angels are “doing the right thing” by developing a “sense of justice” toward their suffering black friends after the museum visit.

    I’ve seen White families walk up to the SPLC building in Montgomery like they were approaching St. MLK’s tomb- they look reverentially stupefied by the majesty of their own moral correctness at celebrating all the “good work” done there to wipe out racist White privilege.

    • Sick of it

      Kids cannot afford the permit required or the clean conditions required to operate a lemonade stand in modern America.

      • Andy

        A few summers ago there were two little girls selling lemonade off their lawn. Some of the grossest stuff I ever tasted, but they were adorably excited.

    • Greg Thomas

      They will offer up their White daughters to nasty buck diversity, to atone for past wrongs. It will be the least they can do in their quest to embrace diversity. This is the action the museum of hate whitey hopes to inspire.

    • Evette Coutier

      We need to end our self destruction.

      • din_do_nuffins

        Only a hate filled racist would say that.

  • dd121

    That one’s not going on my bucket list.

  • Ella

    Is it right next to the Holocaust museum for that convenient one-day visit? Glad my kids can skip these mandatory, school field-trips.

  • exLibtard

    Although the museum is currently a hole in the ground, …

    They could leave it as is, and it would nicely represent the political, social, and technological innovations of blacks throughout history.

  • JDInSanD

    Here’s a first in Black History. Saw this advertisement today on Facebook.

    • evilsandmich

      Even some northeast Asians have to be at the left side of the bell curve, though I doubt that they’d be the type to like hipster cafes with mimes.

  • AngloCelt

    Grade school children will be forcibly frog-marched through this dump to brainwash them into embracing the values of white guilt and black victimhood. The American taxpayer is bankrolling its own demise.

    • NordicHeritage

      “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

      From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy—always followed by a dictatorship.

      The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

      Quoted from Why democracies fail

  • cancerous bananna

    Despite all the white supremacy on display.. it will be a small museum since their history only began when white’s taught them the concept of it.
    What black wants to go and learn how inferior their history is?

  • MBlanc46

    That will be right next to the British-American Museum; the French-American Museum; the Dutch-American Museum; the Irish-American Museum; the Italian-American Museum, the Polish-American Museum, the…., right?

    • Ella

      Oh, you forgot the German American Museum that was harshly criticized for omitting a Holocaust memorial. Those “evil” Germans focused on early Germanic settlers and immigration before 1910’s when largest numbers arrived in America.

      • MBlanc46

        There’s a German-American Museum? Where?

        • Ella

          It is 719 6th St. NW, Washington, DC. Let me know if you visit and offer some feedback -thanks. The museum opened recently, so our local paper in the travel section wrote a brief commentary about the exhibits.

          • Thank goodness for that. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting on our German-American stamp.

        • MBlanc46

          Thanks. That’s part of my heritage. I’ll make it a point to visit next time we’re in DC.

  • Evette Coutier

    This will be the “how whites abused blacks” museum. I had the good fortune to sit next to a negriod this week and listen to him talk about racial injustice and bias in the American legal system. He was shocked when I told him that no one cares. Apparently he has given his sob story to honkeys who lend a sympathetic ear. I told him that it was all nonsense. No one cares. They were just being polite. He was very upset. Look at Obama. He sees himself as the center of the universe. The new museum will only add to the delusion.

  • IKantunderstand

    First of all, I hope and pray, that every single worker, and architects, and designers, and curators are Black. By the way, this will be the only Black museum that manages to go as far back in history as it does. Luckily, for African Americans, they were enslaved by White Americans who managed to keep some records. Once the trail leads to mother Africa, it stops cold. Tough to keep records, when you have never managed to develop a written language. OOH, Oprah, couldn’t find your great, etc., ancestors in Africa? No, the best you could do, was have your DNA analyzed to a geographic area of Africa. And, by the way, Oprah, do you honestly think for one freakin’ minute, that if your sorry ass ancestors weren’t dragged to America as slaves, you would be where you are now? Tell me honestly, would you have preferred your ancestors to have stayed in Africa? Would you have preferred to have been born in Africa? You know what, it doesn’t matter what you say. All successful African Americans, go on vacation, or go to party, in EUROPEAN countries. Yeah, allright, Jay Z and Beyonce be partying in Kinshasha! Oh, Yeah, Kanye be hanging out in Harare, waiting for Kim K. to join him in this amazing cultural mecca, whose restaurants are only second in their rating to Paris! The two couples are going to finish off their FABULOUS African vacation, by joining up with Denzel, Morgan, and Spike in fabulous, Mogadishu! I hear the only discord within the group, is where, oh where ,are we going to have dinner first? So many choices in fabulous, Mogadishu! Well, we will never know their first choice, because, sadly, they have been eaten as first choice, by various and assorted chieftains. Sorry, flight of fancy got away from me. And, by sorry, I mean, it is not true, but I wish it were.

  • Rhialto

    Seven floors to this building, that should be enough.

    Floor #1-Slave trade-Africans enslaving other Africans. The lucky ones are sold to White men.

    Floor #2- Devoted to Black muggers. The great and the near great. Some involuntary visitor participation may occur.

    Floor #3- Features Black mothers who have reproduced massively at taxpayer expense.

    Floor #4-Black pimps and their great contribution to America will be glorified, extra charge for visitor participation.

    Floor #5-Black racial activists, who have made huge contributions to the racial situations. Visitor participation is unavoidable.

    Floor #6-Black politicians who have demonstrated that they are the equals of Whites in governmental enrichment for all Blacks including themselves.

    Floor #7- Devoted entirely to the crowning achievement of Africans-in-America: your president, Barak Obama.

    • Evette Coutier

      They should have a movie theater that plays non-stop reruns of Superfly.

  • Tacitus1

    Hopefully the museum will enlighten the world of Africa’s role in the slave trade. How African enslaved her own people and sold her children into slavery. In these politically correct times it should also be mentioned how Muslim Arabs contributed to slavery. perhaps this museum should give a closer look on modern slavery ( “human trafficking ” ) which is still part of African culture. I would also like for this museum to parallel the standard of living and life expectancy of the USA to sub-Sahara Africa. In the USA life expectancy is 76 for a male and 81 for females. According to the UN , 15 African countries have a life expectancy under 50.

  • Aaron997

    It’s rather sad that a people’s entire history consists of:
    – Having other people do stuff to/for them.
    – Trying to be like other people (e.g. “the first black to…”).

    • Evette Coutier

      They will have a shrine to sitting down on. A bus seat. I’d be embarrassed if something that stupid were in a white history museum.

  • evilsandmich

    400,000 square feet of white guilt.

    Now that’s funny. Reminds me of the Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati which is perpetually on the verge of closing, before another batch of rich, guilt stricken whites are shaken down so that it can stay open another year or two.

    African-American History Museum

    Well if it includes ancient Egypt (which is in Africa last I checked), it might not be a complete waste.

  • Irishgirl

    “…this construction site is much more than noise and mess – it’s the beginning of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.”

    The jokes pretty much write themselves on this one.

    • Evette Coutier

      Very true.

  • Herman

    What can they honor in the way of black achievement?
    So it will just be more on slavery and victimhood.

    • Andy

      That is false. A man named Charles Drew made some helpful discoveries in the area of blood tranfusions, and he was at least one-sixteenth black. Also, Phyllis Wheatley wrote some pretty good poetry.

  • Luca

    It would only be appropriate that instead of charging an admission, persons stupid enough to enter this establishment will be beaten, robbed and raped.

    After all, that really should be the first lesson one learns about black history and black culture.

    • Evette Coutier

      Gang beaten and gang raped.

  • Erasmus

    Will they talk about how the average IQ of blacks is 85? Will they talk about the stratospheric levels of black illegitimacy and crime?

    Before the old Soviet Union fell, its leaders were desperately trying to shore up sagging political support with expensive, but ultimately futile, efforts in propaganda. This museum is an example of American efforts to do the same.

  • Antipodean WN

    The problem is still, in Russia, Putin included, deny these crimes, and even find pride in the Soviet and Stalinist era —their Victory Day parades are sickening. I don’t get white nationalists who find inspiration in Russia.

  • Antipodean WN

    The problem is still, in Russia, Putin included, deny these crimes, and even find pride in the Soviet and Stalinist era —their Victory Day parades are sickening. I don’t get white nationalists who find inspiration in Russia.

  • serious123

    All I know for certain is that after it is built it won’t be long before some blacks in a rage leave the museum and promptly kill some white man foolish enough to be in the area. It won’t be me and I won’t be attending the Smithsonian anymore after this project is up and running