The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History has been in the making for over a decade—it was established back in 2003 and is the first national museum dedicated to black history in America. Lonnie Bunch is the museum’s founding director, and the process of curating 400 years of black history has been deeply personal. 

“I want people who come through the museum to be changed, to realize that the African American experience is the quintessential American experience,” he says in this documentary by The Atlantic.

“When you want to understand core American values of resiliency, optimism, spirituality, where better to look than within the African American community?”

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