WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and former first lady Laura Bush will celebrate the groundbreaking for a new national museum showcasing black life, art and history on the National Mall.

The Smithsonian Institution announced Wednesday that Obama will speak at the Feb. 22 groundbreaking for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Actress Phylicia Rashad will host the event.

Early construction work has already begun at the museum site near the Washington Monument. Officials have said the museum is on track to open in 2015. Congress has pledged to provide half the cost of the $500 million museum project.

Designers for the project have been planning a layered bronze structure with a stone base.

Bush serves on the museum’s advisory council with Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and others.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (5)
  1. confused says:

    im a tad confused. if someone were to open a white history museum it would be considered racist. so why is this allowed? im not racist but i thought this country was supposed to treat everyone equally?

    1. Judy says:

      That does make one think.

  2. Ramses says:

    Confused your comment is “racist=whitesupremist.” In the era of the ‘Age of Information’ you should research the ‘Black African Holocaust” (The Middle Passage), and all the literature concerning how Black African was ‘kidnapped,’ ‘stolen,’ ‘cultures obliterated,’ and last but not least, forced to provide “free labor” without a true history of their “glorious past (builders of the pyramids and early civilizations globally).”

    It’s not okay to be ignorant! read more books that are written by black africans to get their prospective. This museum is for peoples such as yourself, moreso for people of black african decent living in the United States of America.

    Peace, Light, Love and Guidance!

    As a black man and military veteran, I am proud to be an American and was blessed to have defended her against enemies foreign and domestic, as my black africa ancestors did in George Washington’s Continental Army (5,000 black african fought for USA independence from the British) ’til now.

    1. Jerry says:

      Ramses you forgot one in your description , and that one is sold by your own people . For some reason that one is always left out. That was on the History channel, were one tribe attacked the other tribe and took the men , women and children to the slave ships for profit.

  3. bigbob says:

    Black history? Joke. Any history they have is criminal.

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