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tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  July 31, 2016 10:00pm-11:11pm EDT

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election wherever you are. it is free to download. get audio coverage and up-to-the-minute schedule information or c-span radio and television, plus podcast times for our popular public affairs book in history programs. stay up-to-date on all the election coverage. the c-span radio app means you always have c-span on the go. >> each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archives for , museums, and historic sites around the country. next, we visit the new smithsonian national museum of african american history and culture, which stands on the national mall in the shadow of the washington monument and within sight of the white house. founding director lonnie bunch leads a hardhat tour opens the museums which opens his door to the public on september 24 after an outdoor ceremony expected to feature president obama. mr. bunch: i want to welcome you.
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what we want to do today is give you an opportunity to see the museum as a work in progress. about 40% of all the exhibitions are now complete and we are working to make sure we will be very ready on september 24. the reality of this is simple. 11 years ago we began with a staff of two. we had no idea where the building would be, no sense at all of any of the collections. not a single object in the collection. we knew we had to raise a lot of money. we had no money in the bank. now, as a result of some the gifted staff you will meet and thousands of people, we have raised enough money to complete the building and by september, we will be over our target number. we have collected nearly 40,000 artifacts of which 4000 will be in this museum. instead of two people, there are 200 people working to build this museum.
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let me ask my staff to introduce themselves. >> i am the associate director. >> can afternoon. my name is mary elliott and i am a museum specialist. had the pleasure of cochairing the slavery and freedom exhibition. >> i am a museum curated. cultural the exhibitions. >> i am the senior history .curator well and irator as will be taking you through the community galleries. i am the curator of an exhibition called "the power place." >> i am senior project manager on the project. >> i'm the chief of smithsonian construction.
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we will take you through and give you a brief rundown of the status of the job. we have a lot of floor production. be careful. what's where you are going. follow our lead and we will get out of here safely. >> let me start with talking about the building. some of you may have heard me talk about it. let's make sure we are all on the same page. when we wanted to build this museum, we thought it was crucially important to build the building that spoke of uplift, resiliency, that reminded people that there has always been a kind of dark presence in in america, often undervalued, often misunderstood so we wanted this building to be what it is, a signature green museum. that was really crucial for us. the defining feature is the corona you see around. what is important about that is that it is not just a design feature, it really helps us in terms of sustainability and also
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helps us in terms of remembering history. the corona comes from the kind that sleep people did in charleston and new orleans. that is over the entire building. in a way, the building is a homage for the fact that so much of african american history is hidden in plain sight. this is our way of remembering all those people who shaped and built america who we will never know their names. that is the building. when you come in, we will be able to come in here for orientation and the like, which is unusual for a smithsonian building. >> just to reinforce the fact that the green is the sustainability. the corona gives us solar shade on the west and southern side some most heat gain is blocked. the lawn you walked across is actually a green roof of the history gallery below.
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that is also going towards the sustainability. all the rainwater and service water runoff gets collected into of cisterns and gets reused for toilet flushing and irrigation. the three steps to the corona mean nothing. they create the rhythm. >> they are pretty. >> they create architectural rhythm but they are like the headrest that gave the architects the vision. they do not align with the floors whatsoever. the corona hangs off the building like a lampshade. the structures go all the way down and up to the top. we are down 90 feet. 60% of the building is below grade. you will see a lot of that. i point out the oculus, the round object out front, when we go down to reorient everybody. >> we are going to go all the
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way down and work our way up. let's go the freight elevator, please. let's welcome to the largest rate elevator in the smithsonian. it is not it we are competitive, but it is important. [laughter] as eric said, we are going down 90 feet. >> we're going to the lowest level. we will exit out in the utility room. back to the sustainability component, we divided this three-quarter acre site, the mechanical room, water on the
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east. to my right. to the left is the air side. we reclaim the water and take it back upstairs and irrigate. every piece of mechanical system down here is clear of mechanical components. we were required to do that by our agency. we have a flat roof, not accessible. we also have no mechanical units on that floor. we'll walk through here real quick. if there are any questions, ask them when we get to a quieter area.
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>> where you are is, if you are an average general public, i will show you when we get up there. you will go into a room that is further up and you will take this elevator down. in essence, the way the exhibition is framed, it takes you from africa and europe before contact with each other, all the way into the 21st century. in essence, the older stories are down here. as you walk up the ramp, you get closer to the present. the first show you only see pieces of is called "slavery and freedom." mary is a co-curator. if you could do a quick framing and i will point out specific things. >> there are a few messages we really want you to understand as you go through this exhibition and then i will walk you through the exhibition. we are proud to tell the story and help people understand that this is an american story.
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again, told through the african american lens. we look at holding onto one's unity in the midst of inhumane conditions. we look at the heart harsh realities of slavery in their resistance of people. we look at the howard juxtaposed against the human cost. when you get off the elevator, you will enter a story about africa where we break down the continent of africa made up of diverse people, cultures, societies, intellects. it will go through a story that tells you about africa and europe and the development of the slave trade. this exhibition goes from 15th-century africa all the way to reconstruction. >> watch where you walk. this is a construction site. >> watch your step.
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>> this is the gallery that will be the last finished. we will not spend a lot of time in here but i want to point out certain things. this will look at the slave trade. one of the things that is important, you may have known about the fact that we had been working for years to find a slave ship and we found pieces of a slave ship that sank off the coast of cape town. and we bring the pieces back. most of this exhibition is original with artifacts, graphics, words, we also have spaces like this. you can go in and in this or darkened space, you will simply have a few artifacts from the ship, some slave shackles and in essence, this is where you can go and emotionally feel the slave trade. you hear the words of people describing it. you will understand what it was like. what the space is is a way to
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think about those who were lost and those who survived the middle passage. we wanted to make sure that there were moments that would be surprises, allow you to reflect on what you have seen. then what we try to do, this exhibit would then take your to -- will then take you to look at the creation of america and argue that you can't understand american notions of freedom without understanding american notions of slavery. we will talk about how slavery affected the north, the south carolina, louisiana, what is most important is every exhibition in this museum has a goal to humanize these stories. most historyn museums, we tell the grand story of slavery and migration. we want those grand stories told. we want you to think about it on the human scale. see can relate and understand. part of the goal is even if we don't know the people, we want to recall their humanity and reclaim their humanity. that is one of the goals of this
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whole museum. follow us and i will take you around and we can show you some things. do i have everybody? whilef what happens is you're exploring the creation of the united states, the american revolution, you come out to this open space which begins with a constitutional convention and takes you into the slavery that most of us know, 19th-century slavery. what is important is this wall is called the wall of freedom. the goal here is obviously to give people a sense of the impact that african americans have had in shaping our national destiny. we look at the declaration, the constitution. but we go around and try to find documents that are written by african americans or espoused by
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african americans that make concrete, make manifest, make real our notions of freedom and equality. in a way, part of the goal is to suggest that the story of slavery, the story of slavery and freedom is the quintessential american story. it is not a story about a people. it is a story about a country about a nation. , if you could talk a little bit about what they will see and the graphics. >> as lonnie said, this is a human story. it is also the story of america. we start with, again, the declaration of independence and go all the way through the dred scott decision. one thing we want people to understand in this space is that african americans were involved in the development of the united states from the beginning. you will see where documents like the 1803 louisiana 1808 and of the international slave trade, 1820,
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1850 coppermine. kansas-nebraska act. documents you would have learned about in school come to life through the african american lens. as you mentioned, there are many documents that we thought out, speeches, sermons, newspaper articles written by african-americans, speaking back to the moment. you will see these documents in conversation with the african american community and you get an understanding about how african americans helped develop the notion of freedom, liberty, citizenship in the united states. >> let me take you back to one of our most important artifacts, a slave cabin from south helped tohat mary collect. let's go back and look at the cabin. when we were preparing to build this museum, the number one issue that people wanted to talk about and the number one issue people did not want to talk about was slavery. in some way, we really feel that part of our contribution is helping americans grapple with the impact of slavery.
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for african americans, not to slavery as something embarrassing, but to remind all of us that we wish we were as strong as our enslaved ancestors. or to be able to help americans realize this is a story that tells us as much about american economic growth, prosperity, and american politics as anything else. this slave cabin is one of the most important ways to tell the story by juxtaposing the cabin and the plantation house of the owner. to give people a sense of slavery from a human scale. >> quickly, my director really wanted a slave cabin so that was my charge. i was very excited to go in search of that. we were able to find a slave cabin in south carolina.
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we looked at the founding of america. this tells a human story. it is a community story, regional story, and american story. we worked with the preservation society who had the cabin who generously offered it to us. we worked with the community on at a still island, including descendents of the slaves and slaveholding families. we are proud to have this in the exhibition. they worked with us to help uncover a lot of the history related to this cabin which was in 1853 on a plantation. we will tell the story of slavery and freedom on the front side. but as you go through the exhibition, on the backside we tell the story of emancipation because this cabin is significant to both stories. particularly after emancipation. it is the site where african americans received land, it was taken away, and ultimately the land goes back to the
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slaveholding families. we are excited to tell those stories with this one magnificent object. >> what you have walk-through would have been a discussion of slavery through the ports of the lastast words of the through the -- through the words of the enslaved, the civil war, here as mary said, this begins to talk about freedom. emancipation proclamation. i want to point out something that is important. on all of the floors here, we have these booths where people can add their reflections and notions of what this means. that also gives new information for us. people tell family stories and we will be able to use that as we move forward and make a change is to the exhibition or do more things on the web. the goal here is to make sure that while there is a lot of technology in terms of making an -- it accessible to a variety of generations, the key for us is to get the public to share their thoughts, their notions, their
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histories with us like to have already to inform the work we do. we would have left "slavery and freedom." now marching our way up to the a -- era ofre reconstruction. each of these ramps, a major media piece. it prepares you for the age of segregation. as we go to each one, there will be a major story that will help you understand the next piece you look at. one of the things we want people to understand is that history is not stagnant. the expense of african americans is not stagnant. this is the cabinet paul collected from maryland. this is a cabin built immediately after the civil war by a newly freed community. what's important about this is many things.
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first of all it is the desire , after slavery to come together as communities and families to , support each other as they began by transitioning from slavery to freedom. but also, freedom is so important. it is hard to describe how important freedom was for the people who did not have it. for many folks, when they were able to build this cabin, they realized that most slave cabins were mostly one-story and so they built two stories. that second story speaks of freedom. in some ways, it is freedom made concrete, made manifest. for us, this juxtaposition of being able to look down at the cabin and then juxtapose it with this cabin helps people in profound ways undetand all the things that must have gone through people's minds as they tried to figure out what does it mean to be free. this cabin is one of those examples of that. this whole section, bill, could you frame the section?
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>> sure. with the destruction of slavery, the issue becomes for all americans what does it mean to have free african americans amidst us? as they define your own freedom, how does the nation define those freedoms? what limitations does one place on the other? there is literally a contest. you have african americans building their houses, institutions, schools, educational systems, churches, community groups. all of which are meant to give themselves control over their lives. on the other hand, you have efforts by the larger society to contain those efforts. what evolves is a very rigid and all-encompassing sense of segregation. segregation enforced by law. that sets up what happens later on which is the resistance, which is constant during this time period. and blossoms in the mid-20th century. as an effort to obtain civil
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freedom inestablishe a new sense different from what was defined after the civil war. >> this is the first time i have seen this. this is an interactive lunch counter that is going to allow the public to bring their own knowledge, put together their own stories around the civil rights movement. it is capable of being used by individuals and classes. teachers can control how this would work. that is not bad. i have seen this as a 12 inch screen so that looks much better. i like it. >> i'm glad you like it. >> i hope so. it cost enough. the point is, throughout the museum, we are trying to find all the different ways to educate. this talks about the civil rights movement itself. the struggles, the challenges, but we also wanted to be able to
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create and have artifacts that would be dramatic and help people understand the power of discrimination. what you have here, this is a segregated railroad car from southern railways, 1929. this is one of the artifacts that we brought into the museum before the roof was closed because we would not be able to get it in otherwise. this means 40 years from now, a director is going to be cursing my name, but this will be here forever. this is important because this gives the public an opportunity to walk through a segregated railroad car. to understand what it was like for the white community, what it was like for the african american community. hear the words of people talking about what it felt like to pay for your ticket and walk through where the white community with it and then you
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went to where you are. the second artefact that is so large is this is the guard tower from angola prison, louisiana. part of the goal was to talk about the impact of the criminal justice system on america, african americans. this particular guard tower helps us understand the story of lease system and peonage. after the civil war, many african american men were tried on minor charges and put in prison and then their labor was companies,vernment, two people building roads. in essence, to keep them under control and use labor much like they did during enslavement. these two artifacts will probably never move. derek can show you and let you peek inside the car. be careful. >> our visitors will be able to walk through here. they will get a good sense
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between the white only and colored only sections. they can also walk around the railcar and get an overview of the slavery gallery. >> when is this from? >> i was not listening. fromactually came tennessee and then kentucky. we are restoring it ourselves. we lowered it in here. this is the grass above. when you came into the building and walked across the lawn, that is the lawn above us. that is the green roof. we lowered this, 80 tons without wheels with just this one freestanding wall. two cranes lowered it into the site. one thing you might have noticed is the angle of the wall. it is about a four-degree slope. it gives a nice perspective.
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this room really opens up. outside is a two meter thick concrete wall that holds back the surface. this is a freestanding 65 foot column. it has a lot of lateral load on it and that sick to keep the lateral pressure from the earth above from pushing in on us. the engineering is a very stout wall. >> we had a collecting effort at louisiana state penitentiary for a number of years. we invested in collecting jail cells which we did and you will see in the "power of place" exhibition. as part of the conversation, we got to talking about other potential objects on the environment. angola is the largest maximum security prison in america. it is the size of manhattan. there are thousands of people in prison there.
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the vast majority of them are african american men. the opportunity to collect his tower, we jumped at the chance and thought about what that meant after. what it meant is that we had to take it in two large pieces, the bottom and the top. we had to contract with a firm to get clearance to get onto the prison. it was collected from a defunct part of the prison and they had to cut it in half, truck it up here along with the train car which was in tennessee, and get placed into the building where it was put back together. watch your step. [hammering sound] >> thanks for your work.
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appreciate it. >> no problem. >> [indiscernible] was given to museum. paul was instrumental in that as well. it was given to the museum to help us talk about the tuskegee airmen from world war ii. it is a great story of an airforce pilot who wanted to find a plane he could play with
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and put together as a hobby. the more he began to put the together, he had to find a variety of serial numbers that sort of gave parts of the plan. the serial numbers revealed that the plane was indeed one of the few tuskegee trainer planes used and stationed at moulton field in alabama. tuskegee, alabama. the more he found out, the more he wanted to learn about it who he tuskegee airmen knew nothing about. he succeeded in rebuilding the plane. he succeeded in finding and touching base with tuskegee airmen. he convinced them to fly with him to a variety of places that
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held airshows around the country. he actually, we helped him put together an exhibition, a portable exhibition and so he flew the plane around telling the story that he did not even know before you discovered the plane. and finally he decided to , contribute the plane to the museum and we gave him just a bit of money so he could then purchase another plane where he can continue with his hobby. [laughter] from california, he flew the plane from california to washington, d.c. he circled it around the national harbor which is where the tuskegee airmen were having their annual conference. they all gathered outside and watched as the plane circled the harbor and then headed to the airport where it was decommissioned to prepare for
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the exhibition. isn't that a great story? >> this is 1968 to the present. for those of you old enough to remember the 60's, one of the things was picket signs. we took that notion of pickets and began to use them so there is a nation of islam uniform, black panther material, material on culture and literature, on women. bill can talk about what we are trying to accomplish and give them a little bit on the resurrection city. >> visitors have been through an exhibition dealing with enslavement and segregation. all of a sudden, the success of the civil rights movement of the 1960's does away with legal segregation.
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what does freedom now mean? there's a shift in the tone. not in the goals, but in the tone for what was known as the traditional classic civil rights movement. it then becomes something called black power. what we tried to evoke in this section with the picket signs is the sense of energy, and for those of us who graduated from high school in 1968, we remember just how traumatic that year was. this is the year which martin luther king, jr., is assassinated. it is the year in which robert kennedy is assassinated. this is the year in which the democratic national convention in chicago turns into a police riot. this is the year in which the antiwar movement reaches a crescendo. this is the year in which this nation is on egg in many ways. we tried to evoke that in this section.
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think about the emotion that will come out when you hear the music of the late 1960's. one of the keynotes of the era was just before the death, martin luther king established a slightly larger vision, a vision around economic justice that was to include explicitly all manner of americans. all different groups. the idea was to bring pressure on the federal government by creating an encampment in washington, d.c. called , resurrection city and working to lobby and legislation with various government agencies. resurrection city was an encampment of 3500 people along the mall alongside the reflecting pool. plywood and canvas tents were .rected for the residents residents created their own murals, hundreds of them. we were able to collect from an individual who had salvaged one
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washe murals after the camp destroyed and kept it for the last 50 years. we were able to collect one of the murals. resurrection city is part of the mission of martin luther king and also marks a transition to a world of civil rights movement in which king is not the major leader. and so, there is a change in tone. >> the other thing important about resurrection city is you suddenly see latino issues. you see that the movement is not a single movement for one community, but rather a movement for democracy and economic fairness for many communities. i think that is an important transition that people have been trying to fulfill that vision ever since. did we get everybody? in this piece, this is the piece that begins to look at the 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000 and some of
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the signature moments. this will be part of the set of oprah winfrey. someone who is pivotal in our understanding of the change of television and the role of women, issues of race and each of these gives you peaks peeks into artifacts of the era. give them an idea of things they will say. >> from the 1970's, you have the 'family stone' keyboard. from the 1980's, you have jesse jackson for president material. from the 1990's, you have nelson mandela and the million man march. from the 2000's, you have a voting booth with a hanging chad and material from katrina. this is a very quick overview . but in fact, remember, unlike the slavery exhibition or even
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the era of segregation, every person who comes to this exhibition has a personal experience, is able to drive draw personally a memory associated with at least some of these artifacts and images. in fact, in the sense that journalism is the first draft of history, we are encouraging people because of our reflection at the end of the hallway, to participate in creating that history that is a reflection, more than simply journalistic and the first draft of history. we did not feel competent to make those judgments. we want our visitors to help do that. >> there are some wonderful things like this "public enemy" poster. we have a case that looks at barack obama. the goal was not to look at the legacy of obama, to talk about the impact of the election. to look at that as a transformative moment.
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talk about how we wanted to create a sense of surprise in the moment. is where hepace would come out after you have gone through the history galleries. that is where you would have entered. it would have gone through the history galleries and come all the way down. , if youou over here is remember the oculus pointed out to you where the water will flow down, that is going to be a reflective space. that will have water coming down 60 or 80 feet. a lot of water. there are a few quotations. it will be a wonderful spot. in this space, you have our restaurant to the right. galleries to the left. behind me is the oprah winfrey theater. in front of us is this wonderful sculptural stairway. >> it is a freestanding stare.
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no calls, no support. it will be our connection from the central hall above got to -- down to the oprah winfrey theater. you can see a perfect example of how the corona sets off from the structure that creates this space. it is a clear story all the way up to the bottom of the fifth floor deck. on a day like today, you see how much light you are cast in. it does not feel like you're in the basement. it is an open area. open source space. withan imagine the space two or 3000 people walking around talking about it. very exciting. >> as you go through the rest of the building, you will see that the building is about this does them -- this the -- vistas and views. when you go into building, you forget about the mall. here, we wanted to say that the
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this is sacred space. opportunity to look out at arlington cemetery where many of the african-americans who fled fox for freedom ended up dying. you will be able to see where that wartime marchant and was. the goal was to say near this site, so much happened that is important. the goal is to say that we want you in the building, we want to recognize where the building is. that is one of the joys. we will go into the oprah winfrey theater which is an example of how we use the corona in interesting ways. follow us.
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welcome to the oprah winfrey theater. we took the corona and brought it inside. this will hold about 360 people. this will be one of the major spaces for public programs. this stage has state-of-the-art soundproofing and wonderful opportunities for films, dancing, spoken word. this is one of those surprises in the building. oprah was here and she likes it. she did the happy dance. now we will head up to the third floor. now we are going up to three. the museum is divided into thirds.
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one third the history galleries. a second third is the community galleries. the final third are really the culture galleries. the notion was that the galleries you went through will give you that narrative take you , from africa to today. these other galleries go into detail in different areas, sports, military, music, theater, dance. in the best of worlds, you start down and work your way up. we know that will not happen that way. the reality is that we want to make sure at the very least, the public, schoolkids can get a sense of the narrative and understand how the history fits in and how they fit into that history. what would have come up in the elevator? i don't know. the airplane? >> i need everybody to stay together.
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there are a lot of objects out. there are a lot of object we need to put in. when we moved. let's move as a group together please. i will start grabbing people. >> charlie, why don't you take the back? we will go into the center. more room. >> ok. [indiscernible] >> [indiscernible] >> that is good, right here.
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>> we have to go back that way anyway. >> let me see. >> ok, talk about this floor. >> we are in the heart of the community floor. as lonnie mentioned one of the , big goals of the museum is to provide people with a variety of views into the history and culture. we wanted to create a floor that focused on issues of community, small and large. on this floor, let me orient you very quickly. behind you is the national mall and behind me is constitution avenue. on this floor there are four , exhibitions. they all rely on and explore themes of community, from very small places and neighborhoods.
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now,xhibition you are in too large topics and themes of community such as the military and national belonging. the military exhibition, the military history exhibition is to my right. your left. to sports fans and communities created through sports. that is to my left and you're right. "leveling the playing field." theseue that ties galleries together is an exhibition that is the central, organizing and some ways spiritual concept for african-american history and culture across time. this exhibition focuses on strategies for improvement through education.
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strategies for equality through politics and protest. strategies for integration in some respects. it looks at religion, community, it looks at politics and it looks at individuals and communities. that is the skin of what we're looking at here. right now you are in my , exhibition called "the power of place." >> sit down he will talk for an , hour! [laughter] >> what do we mean by place? for our museum it is crucially , important that we let people know that african-american history is broad and wide. we need to find a way to represent it in all of its geographic diversity. from north, east, west. place is more than that.
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place is something we all feel and have. emotional and about memory. what we have done here is we have identified 10 unique places across time and region that we dip people into an immersive way. from the bronx and the 1970's to chicago and the chicago defender in the 1930's and 40's and looking at the making of a black metropolis to tulsa, oklahoma in 1921. theing at the resilience of african american community in greenwood in response to one of the most devastating race riots in our country's history. this is what we drop people into, intimate stories that humanize the big history across place and time.
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in the middle, we have a central place where after you look at a few of the case studies, help you can return and will help visitors explore ideas about community, stories about movement and migration. a lot of these stories will be driven by people themselves. the heart of it will be a wonderful interactive digital table that will be crowd sourced with people's stories of their own places that will continually refresh and reload. it will help us to bring that sense of both diversity and uniqueness but also that sense of personalness and emotionalism that we want to bring to all corners of the museum. that is what "the power of place" is. >> watch yourself here.
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this show will talk about everything from the role of african-americans in the olympics, football, basketball, tennis, golf. but the most important thing is much like the way we talk about saymilitary, the goal is to you will explore this because you like sports. you want to see jackie robinson steal home. you want to see tiger woods make that putt. but for us, the real story is what is the meaning of sport? how is sport used to integrate america? that if iused to say could run as fast or catch as well, maybe equality would follow? while this is about wonderful athletic moments, it is really about moments that helped transform america. you will see,ects there will be a statue here of the 1968 black power olympics. we set the stage.
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athletich about achievement but also about political consequences. i will take you through baseball so you can see how we do certain things. stay with me. to stayuys pinky swore together. >> stay with me. lewis' metalsarl from los angeles, barcelona, and atlanta. >> in addition to seeing all the wonderful material, what you have got is this is the wall of , game changers. the notion is, here are people whose athletic achievement transcended sports. paul robeson as an all-american football player but also as an actor and activist. we talked about title ix, the
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impact on women and what that meant for women's athleticism. the harlem globetrotters. it's about trying to give you more detail than you might normally think. each of these goes into a different sport. we will cut through baseball on our way up to the fourth floor. be careful as we walk. again, always thinking of different ways to engage and entertain. you get to sit and watch film footage. it is also an example of the kind of vistas we have. we have moments throughout the building where you can see where you are. at various stages, we will have information that will tell you not just what you are looking at, but what was once there.
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you begin to see the evolution of the mall. we will take you now to the fourth floor, the last stop. and we will probably divide the group. i will go with the first group and then we will talk about what is going on there. let's step just inside. joanne is the curator of "cultural expression," the exhibit we are in. this is a floor that speaks about the impact of culture on two levels. when is the creativity that african americans brought to the cultural production but also, how culture is a bulwark that helps people survive, helps people grapple with discrimination.
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helped people find joy in the most difficult times. in essence, this is a place of celebration. but it is also a place that helps us understand how people believe in a better day when they should not have believed in a better day. >> you are on the fifth floor the highest floor of the exhibition galleries in the entire museum. there are four cultural galleries on this floor for different aspects of african-american culture. there is the visual arts gallery which takes you through a journey through african american production of art. is the gallery of musical crossroads and journey through the different genres of music that african americans have produced. from the moment they came here as enslaved africans to the transatlantic slave trade envoy to the present day, they are taking the stage house set
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african-americans and peter and builds in television and the struggles for control over their representation in those forms. and the achievements. there's also cultural expression. it looks at cultural traits and practices that some people think are identifiable with african-americans. it looks that food, social dance, speech patterns, body language. what we are trying to do is expand your awareness of what is considered african-american culture. when you go to the food section, you will not just be learning about soul food. you will also be learning about other cuisines that african americans contributed to the development because we are always in everyone's kitchen. you will see hercules, george washington's cook, who was known as a celebrated french chef. you learn about thomas downey who owned a fine seafood dining establishment in new york. and a lot of people associate fashion with african american
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hip-hop. but you also learn about the woman who created jackie kennedy's wedding dress. you will learn about arthur mcgee, one of the first fashion designers to break the color barrier in the fashion industry. you will also learn about the all-black world of fashion that existed during segregation. when african americans had limited access to the mainstream fashion world, they created their own fashion world. there were fashion designers who are household names within the communities. flex talk about what that is. >> if you look at the top of the poster, it should look familiar to you. it is the shape that inspired the shape of our building. it is a sculpture of a craftsman who is known in west africa and nigeria today, known for craft and ship. up platforms and kings palaces and it is one of the
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sources that inspired the shape of this building. it is there to speak to how much african traits are still existing here in the united states. of much africa is a source racial pride as they create music and poetry. you will see examples of that throughout all of the galleries. >> what i would like to do, if you want to talk about your gallery? >> you can go ahead. >> are you sure? this gallery is so cool i come here and hang out. >> there are four sections in this gallery. , but alsoanguage things like slang and african american english vernacular, it looks at the fact that language differs depending on where you
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lived in the united states and was used for multiple purposes including liberation. you may have seen the movie that denzel washington did where they trained students to master the art of debate to defeat stereotypes. 's and howoks at d.j. i they helped create black community with the sounds and music. it also looks at political rhetoric, people like malcolm x and martin luther king and how they used political speech as a tool for liberation. there is the fashion section. fashion looks at more than then just closing. the best fashion looks at more than just clothing. it also looks at hair. and the struggle to move away from the idea that straight hair was better or that straight hair
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was compared to adopt a more natural styles and being proud of curly natural hair on african american communities and image of identity. >> we have all seen pictures of marian anderson when she sang at the lincoln memorial, easter morning, 1939. wore when shehe sang. 1929d me, cap callaway's suit. you can imagine the array of musical talent we are going to talk about. there is rate charles material. michael jackson's fedora. whitney houston's dress. dion warwick. one of my favorites, not that i have any influence, but "earth, wind, and fire."
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we have material from kool and the gang. what is so powerful about this, again, the biggest challenge of the museum was building the collection and the staff has done such a good job being able to find this amazing material . i want you to get a quick look at this. this is music. when this is done, there will be a dance floor. you will be enveloped by screens that will give you some of the greatest performances in african american music ministry. and if you want to dance, he would be able to dance. if you want to dance like i do, that means you will be watching other people. what we have, this is the penultimate stop. this is a guy who looks at film, television, and theater. it has some amazing things. when you think of the struggle to present images of african americans that were not just
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stereotypical, it is a long struggle and we play a lot of that out. when you come here, be careful. we are going to walk around the latter. you see a piano, costumes, and i want to show you my favorite artifact in this whole gallery. while we have a lot of amazing things from film and television, this is one of the rarest things we have. this is from 1857. --laybill where our aldrich ira aldridge is playing othello for the first time. he had to leave the country into and he did this performance for about a week. suddenly have something as
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powerful as this, it is simple, but i think it is one of the great joys of the museum that you will find these kinds of treasures. it is in the theatre royal, not manchester, where is the city? newcastle, there it is. part of the cool stuff you will see, we will not go close because it is blocked. these are one of my favorite things. girls," arom "colored wonderful play from the 1970's. i will show you something else. go back this way.
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one of the joys is to be able to collect african american film. it is one of my areas of interest. we were able to get an amazing collection of movie posters. part of our job is to help people relearn history they think they know. that movie poster is from spencer williams. he is known by most people for playing in amos and andy. he was among the most famous film directors of the 1930's and 1940's. we also have some amazing things in here. that beautiful green down, that lee nomura cost. -- that was lena horne's.
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and black exploitation movies. this is eddie murphy from beverly hills cops. trying to show both what the movies were and what they were about, the struggle to define and control one's identity. take a quick look and then we will move to the last stop. we want to introduce people to people like moms mably and stu gilliam, did gregory. the goal here is the realize that comedy plays an important political role as well. we expect this film, television, theater, to be one of the very exciting and wonderful moments of the museum. the other thing, this museum was about views. we want to create opportunities for the public to really get some great views. outside here, we will take you to the overlook where you really get a great deal of the
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washington -- national mall. hold onto your hat. the windows are clean. i am so pleased. you can come and get these vistas. you can see everything. arlington cemetery, lincoln, when the fall comes and there are no leaves you can see the , white house. this is part of our desire to give people these moments. in essence, what this is, you have gotten the tour of the museum and i want to thank you, before i let you all had back down, see if there are any questions that i could answer for you. i know we went through quickly, but i wanted to get a sense of
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the possibilities of the museum. any questions, i will answer them. let me get the most important question out of the way i'm a yankees fan, let me make that clear. >> [indiscernible] >> i think that the visiting of this museum is something that people will come back to like a cool drop of water. will come back time and time again. i expect that there is amazing knowledge and the museum based on the curators so no one person will get all the knowledge what we all know, what we really feel, this is an important educational opportunity because of the knowledge and because of smithsonian. candidly, there are people who come to the smithsonian who wrestled with issues, russell -- wrestle with race, other issues that they want anywhere else. we realized that we will have
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4,000,000-5,000,000 visitors annually walking to the door and 70 to 80 million visitors online every year. for us, it is about, the information we convey and about helping america understand how it has been profoundly shaped by the story and to also be a space for those conversations that we have trouble having. to be able to have the programs that we had recently on ferguson and baltimore and we want to do things that are about the joy but we don't want to run away from the pain. america sometimes is a country that revels in its ability to forget. our job is to help america remember. that is what we think you will do as you go to the museum. any other questions? >> what surprises do you have at the stage looking back to the idea versus the reality?
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>> i think that, when we first started the idea, we did not really think about the corona. that has become a signature piece that was not part of the discussion. the pleasant surprise has been the public has shared their artifacts, their stories, their history. this is about time. in some ways, what we know as curators and scholars is the biggest pleasant surprise is how important it is for us to realize that will we're doing is not building museum, not even building a collection, what we are doing is holding people's culture in our hands so we think that is the most important responsibility we have and that i think, how big a deal that have become to so many people may be a surprise. we know it was important to smithsonian, but we have been
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overwhelmed by people who stop us on the street and say they are praying for us. or people who just come every time i get into a cab, the cab driver talks about it. going from place, have you seen the new museum? and he tells me all about it. it has been wonderful to see the way people have embraced this. i think the joy, the desire, that surprised me. >> you can watch this and other american artifact programs anytime by visiting our website c-span.org/history. >> the c-span buses in philadelphia, pennsylvania as people about the democratic convention in the issue that is most important to them in a 2016 presidential campaign.
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>> i'm from district 43, los angeles california. so far my delegate experience has been a learning express. -- learning experience. it has been one where i have learned the true innerworkings of how my party works and it is something i'm excited to share. i want to be fatal for the -- i just want to be thankful for the people who elected me to come here and be your voice. thank you so much. >> most important issue to me is education. education of inner-city black youth. i feel that the lack of education and such schools and school systems has been neglected for too long. improved my city, cincinnati ohio. there are, the graduation loads are low -- rates are low in literacy is low.
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i'm 17 years old and the youngest member of the california delegation. i'm placing bernie sanders and i got involved in the delegate process because i was inspired by my grandfather who was an organizer. he was with the united farm workers. it has led me to really fight for what is right and for the voices of those who are not voiced and that is what i'm doing at the convention in the hoping to represent the youth. >> delighted to be at the convention. my first convention. i've been working for hillary for eight years. to get her in the white house. that's why i'm here. it is my passion. >> i'm from ohio. i'm a delegate for bernie and i 21. am this is my first convention. on the state director of college students for bernie and i'm really excited to be here. my generation and the millennials, we are about the
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same size of the baby boomers and is important for us to show up. we are having a great time at the convention and looking forward to the rest of it. >> voices from the road on c-span. quick starting monday, august 1, and 8:00 p.m. eastern, the contenders, c-span's 14 part series that helps put the 2016 presidential campaign in historical perspective. reaching across time, political parties and geography, we present key figures who have run for president and lost, but changed political history. it's not we feature a different candidate, beginning with henry clay and ending with ross perot. at a clock p.m. eastern time august 1-14, here on american history tv, only on c-span3.
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>> each week until the 2015 -- 2016 election, road to the white house rewind brings you archival coverage of residential races. dwight eisenhower accepts his party's presidential nomination at the 1952 republican national convention in chicago. in his speech, the former nato supreme allied commander promises to lead a great crusade to put a republican in the white house for the first time in many years. them as being wasteful and corrupt. general eisenhower defeated the credit now adlai stevenson in the 1952 general election. capturing 55% of the popular vote to stevenson's 44%. this is about 15 minutes. ♪

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