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This Wednesday the Smithsonian breaks ground on the nineteenth building and its complex of museums.
When it opens in 2015 it will help explain a tee chapter in what it is meant to be an America.
Here's our power player of the.
If we want to understand.
Our notions of freedom.
Our sense of liberty as Americans we -- -- to look through the lens of the African American experience.
Lonnie bunch is director of the museum of African American history and culture which will stand on the National Mall near the Washington monument.
-- says it merits -- -- because the story of will tell as an essential part of this nation.
The African American experience and the challenges of slavery.
Race and segregation.
Have really been at the heart of who Americans are.
Bunch and his staff have been working under the radar since 2005.
Raising more than 200 million dollars from the government and private donors for what is expected to be up 500 million dollar project.
The biggest challenge has been figuring out the story they want to tell.
Then finding that 25000.
Artifacts to tell it.
In many ways.
Crafting this museum.
Was like going on a cruise in unchartered -- at the same time we're building ship.
-- says a Philadelphia collector claimed to have material from Harriet Tubman.
The escaped slave who helped free dozens more through the underground railroad.
I knew as a nineteenth century story there wasn't anything Smithsonian staff brought in and -- so delicately unwrapped.
Just one example of what the collector hang out.
-- -- -- Queen Victoria.
Gave toughness he pulled out this show -- and told the story.
I -- people were ready to cry.
Bunch has collected much more things from the -- Rosa Parks was working on when she was arrested -- chuck -- Cadillac.
And there is a railroad car with separate sections for whites and -- when you see things like that.
Is it still hurt.
Course it does I really.
Feel for the people who experienced it but want to come with -- anything else is the sense of strength.
Of people who basically.
Believed in America when America didn't believe in them.
Lonnie bunch got his first job out of college working at the air and space museum.
They offer me -- job even though I knew very little about cared nothing about space but it really got me excited about the Smithsonian.
He's worked in museum's -- sentence.
I remember as a kid.
Watching the old men sit in the backyard one would tell one story one would tell another.
And it became a social -- for me.
Museums that -- pastor like that how daunting.
Is this assignment let's just say that at 8 o'clock in the morning I'm the best job in America and at 2 o'clock we mourns the dumbest thing I've ever done.
No doubt he feels both.
Because of his ambitious goal for the museum.
This is an opportunity.
To help Americans.
By being candid and tell the unvarnished truth so that we can say.
We can find a way to overcome the greatest chasm that has divided -- that is the chasm of race.
Bonds as Wally has plenty of material from Barack Obama's 2008 campaign.
He also wants something that defines the first African American presidency.
Body says mr.
Obama isn't ready to say what that is just yet.
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