On 24 September the Smithsonian Institution’s newest museum was opened with speeches from President Barack Obama and the museum’s Founding Director Lonnie G Bunch III. The opening ceremony also included contributions from Civil Rights pioneer, Congressman John Lewis, Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder.
Lonnie Bunch has worked closely with Alan Morrison and the University of Westminster as part of the Westminster-Smithsonian Colloquium since the 1990s delivering public lectures and seminars in collaboration with several leading London museums. In spring 2017 the University of Westminster is planning a London festival programme to celebrate the opening of the NMAAHC.
The day before the ceremony Alan, and his wife Wendy Morrison were given a personal tour of the museum by Lonnie Bunch. Speaking about his visit Alan said: “It was a great honour to be part of this historic event. The Museum tells a very powerful story of resilience, courage and creativity. The African American experience is presented as an integral part of American history and life. The Museum demonstrates that an understanding of history and an engagement with contemporary challenges go hand in hand.”