Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Create National African American Museum
A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by U.S. Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and J.C. Watts, R-Okla., revived a proposal early this month to establish a National Museum of African American History and Culture on or near the National Mall in Washington.
“By establishing this museum and placing it on the National Mall, we will be able to properly honor the history of America and the legacy of African Americans, thereby putting it in a national light where it belongs,” Watts said in letter he wrote with Lewis.
Watts and Lewis sponsored the new legislation in the House, while Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Max Cleland, D-Ga., did so in the Senate.
Under the plan, the new museum would be housed in the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building, which already is located on the Mall.
The museum will house a permanent collection of artifacts and historical materials showcasing more than 400 years of African American history and culture, Watts and Lewis stated in their letter.
The legislation also would authorize an educational and scholarship component for the new museum as well as affiliations with other museums of Black history. Funding for the museum is expected to come from a federal and private partnership.
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