President Obama delivered a speech at the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture Saturday.
Obama called the museum necessary because "It reminds us that routine discrimination and Jim Crow aren't ancient history, it's just a blink in the eye of history. It was just yesterday." People "should not be surprised that not all the healing is done," said President Obama. The 400,000 square foot museum includes over 34,000 items within 11 collections that tell the story of African-American history and culture through sports, music and performance, military history, civil rights, and more.
President Obama mentioned the importance of unity between cultures during his speech. "And so hopefully this museum can help us talk to each other. And more importantly, listen to each other. And most importantly, see each other. Black and white and Latino and Native American and Asian American — see how our stories are bound together. And bound together with women in America, and workers in America, and entrepreneurs in America, and LGBT Americans," Obama said Saturday.
The museum features several LGBT artifacts, including a famous photo of a man holding a sign that reads "I'm a black gay man," from the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., in 1995. The museum will also have a playbill on display from The Colored Museum, a sketch series from Tony award-winning playwright George C. Wolfe, about African-American life from a satirical perspective. One of those sketches features Miss Roz, a black transgender woman.
Watch President Obama's full speech below.