The groundbreaking for a new Smithsonian black history museum took place in D.C. this morning. It will be the first national museum devoted to black life, culture and history, and it will open on the National Mall in 2015.
We’ve previously explored the debate over the need for a Black History Month and whether there’s still a need to focus on black history. President Barack Obama attended today’s ceremony, saying “this day has been a long time coming” and that the museum will remind and inspire visitors of “how ordinary Americans can do extraordinary things.”
Below is a photo of President Obama with First Lady Michelle Obama at the ceremony, standing during the national anthem, flanked by a solider in the front.
Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama stand for the National Anthem during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall.
From Northwest to Southeast, D.C.’s public murals help tell the story of black history. Take a look at our gallery below, showcasing some of these public artworks.
Notable figures depicted in the murals include: Carter G. Woodson, considered “the father of black history;” activist and leader Malcolm X; abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass; and poet Langston Hughes.
Some of the murals are funded by the District government, while others are privately-commissioned. There are also a few that are quite new, while others will soon disappear due to development. The gallery presents a snapshot of D.C. murals relating to black history, so feel free to post photos of other such murals in the comments section.
Daniel Lobo / Flickr permalink
This relatively new mural off of U Street NW includes imagery evoking the 1963 March on Washington, which was originally called "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom."
art around / Flickr permalink
Duke Ellington is one of Washington's native sons. This mural on U Street NW was originally near the U Street Metro Station but was dismantled and moved a few blocks down to the True Reformer Building.