We had the honor of welcoming to the Museum last Friday Lonnie Bunch, the Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and his wife, Maria.
Earlier in the week, I had been in Washington for the groundbreaking ceremony for the African American Museum. I felt great pride in being an American, seeing this community break ground on a Museum telling the story of its American journey, and I was quite moved by President Obama’s stirring remarks at the ceremony.
Because I had just been at the groundbreaking, it was a special pleasure to be able to spend some time with Lonnie and Maria and tell them about our museum. We labor in the same vineyard, telling different but in some ways strikingly similar stories about the struggles our peoples have faced to perfect and secure the freedoms promised in our nation’s foundational documents. And our journeys, of course, have intersected in powerful ways, with Jewish Americans playing a prominent role in the civil rights movement, so compellingly illustrated by the iconic photograph we display of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. marching side-by-side with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in Selma in 1965.
We look forward to welcoming the new African American Museum and celebrating its opening on the national Mall in 2015. May Lonnie and his staff go from strength to strength.
-- Contributed by Michael Rosenzweig
President and CEO