Coalition for the National Museum of the American People Celebrates Opening of African American Museum
Says Next National Museum Should Tell Every Group’s Story
“The Coalition supporting the National Museum of the American People celebrates the opening this Saturday of the National Museum of African American History and Culture,” said Sam Eskenazi, director of the group supporting the creation of the NMAP.
He congratulated African American Museum director Lonnie Bunch and his staff and backers for their important and spectacular addition to our nation’s cultural institutions.
“Looking ahead, the next national museum in Washington should tell every American ethnic and minority group's story about their journey to get here, and what they accomplished,” Eskenazi said. “It should be about the making of the American People. We believe that the American People Museum will complement the African American Museum.”
The Coalition is calling for a Presidential Commission in 2017 to study establishment of the Museum. The Museum will serve as a vehicle for national reconciliation after what is expected to be a divisive election season.
“Our goal is to make the NMAP the best story-telling museum anywhere,” Eskenazi said. “The history of peoples coming from every corner of our planet to create and improve this nation from generation to generation is one of the greatest stories in human history. We lead the world economically, militarily, scientifically and culturally. Yet we don’t tell this full story anywhere.”
The Museum will tell its story starting with the first humans in the Western Hemisphere and continuing through today. The story will be told as if the visitor was walking through a dramatic documentary film about the making of the American People.
“The Museum will foster national identity and unity,” said Eskenazi. “I believe Americans of every stripe will gain a sense of belonging to the nation as they come to see their own group’s story and learn of every other group’s story. Foreign visitors will flock to the Museum to see how natives of their respective countries came and contributed to our national narrative.”
There are now 185 American ethnic, nationality and minority organizations representing nearly all Americans backing this project. Organizations that focus on immigration and refugees also support the American People Museum.
The Museum’s story will be scholarly-driven and already more than 130 scholars who focus on the immigration and migration of different groups support the Museum and will help tell its story. “We expect the NMAP to foster learning and understanding nationwide of the full mosaic of the American People, a mosaic that reflects the entire world,” Eskenazi said.
“The NMAP will demonstrate how our founding documents, such as the Constitution, and other forces helped to shape the American character. The Museum will be the embodiment of our original national motto: E Pluribus Unum – From Many One!”
No federal tax money is being sought to plan, build or operate the museum.