tv National Museum of African American History and Culture Tour CSPAN August 6, 2016 11:45am-1:01pm EDT
this weekend we are featuring the history of port huron michigan. learn more about port huron and other stops on our cities tour at c-span.org/cities tour. you are watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3. each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archives, these ends 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 through the museum which opens its doors to the public on september 24 after a three-hour outdoor ceremony expected to feature president obama.
>> good afternoon everyone. my name is mary alea. i'm a museum specialist. curator, iseum curated the cultural commission. on the senior history curator and i was the co-curator of the exhibition changing america 1968 and beyond. >> i'm a curator your as well. i will be taking you through the journey together is. on the curated -- curator of an exhibition of a power of place. i am this new project manager on the project. >> i'm derek. on chief of smithsonian construction. i'll take root. want to give you brief rundown of the status of the job. we have a lot of more protection down.
please be careful when they walk in a much for you are going to follow our lead and we will get out of your safety. -- here safely. >> let me start with talking about the building. let's make sure we are 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 america. there is often undervalued, often misunderstood, we wanted this building to be what it is. signature green museum. and that was really crucial for us. the defining feature is the corona that you see around and what is important about the corona is that the corona is not just a design feature. ofreally helps us in terms sustainability, but it also helps us in terms of the member in history. the corona comes from the kind
slavenwork that craftspeople did in charleston, new orleans, and so that is over the entire building. homagey, the building is to the fact that so much african american history is hidden in plain sight. this is part of our way of remembering all of those people who shaped and build america who will never know their names. that is the building and it has -- when you come in you will be able to come in from either side and enter here for orientation. i just want to reinforce the day -- sustainability. it gives us a solar shared on the west on southern sides. the bond that you walked across is actually a green roof of the history gallery below. that's also going towards sustainability.
waterter and surface runoff is collected and make it reviews flushing and irrigation. the three steps to the corona me nothing. they create the architectural rhythm, but they're likely had just like in the architects envision a visa limit. they do not align with the floors whatsoever. this corona hangs up the building like a lampshade. our structure comes the -- you're looking at here. they go all the way down and up to the top. feet. down about 90 60% of our building is low-grade. i point out the oculus, the round object you see out front to reorient everyone. >> let's go down. we'll go all the way down and working our way up.
where you are is that if you were sort of an average general public, i will show you only get up there. you would go into a store, a room that is further up and you take this elevator down. that in essence the way this exhibition is framed, -- it takes you from africa and europe before contact with each other, all the way into the 21st century. in essence, older stories are down here and as you begin to walk up the ramp you get closer to the present. the first show that you only see pieces of is called slavery and freedom. mary is one of the co-curators so she would give us a quick framing. there are a few messages we want you to understand as you go through this exhibition. we are really proud to tell the story to help people understand that this is an american story.
we look at holding onto one humanity -- we look at the harsh realities of slavery as well as the resistance, resilience, and survival of the people. we look at the process and powered juxtaposed against the human cost. when you first get off the elevator and come down, we break down you 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. >> we will keep walking. there are construction sites, so watch for you are. this is a gallery that will be
the last finish. we won't spend a lot of time in here. this will look at the slave trade. one of the things that is really important, you may well known about the factory been working for years to find the slave ship and we found pieces of a slave ship that sank off the coast of cape town. we are bringing those pieces back. most of this exhibition is an official exhibition. artifacts, graphics, words, but we also create spaces like this. this is the space where you can and in this war doctrine space you will have a few more artifacts from the ship. a slave shackle and in essence this is where you can go and feely almost emotionally the slave trade. you hear the words of people describing it. you understand what it was like in a way. but the space is is a way to think about those who were lost and those who survived. we want to make sure that there
were moments throughout the building that would be surprises. and argue that you can understand american notions of freedom without understanding american notions of slavery. in essence we talk about how slavery affected the north. south carolina, louisiana, but what's most important is every exhibition in this museum has a goal to humanize these stories. that in essence and most history museums retell the grand story of slavery or migration. we want those grand stories told, we want you to think about it on the human scale so that you can relate and understand and that you are moved by the expanse of these people. and essence, part of the gulf is even if we don't know the people, we want to be called their humanity. that is one of the goals of this whole museum.
>> we start -- again the declaration of independence and a go all the way through the dred scott decision. one of the things we want people to understand, particularly standing in the space is that african-americans were involved in the development of the united hates from the beginning. -- united states from the beginning. 1820, 1850 compromised. all the way down the small, documents would have learned in school now come to life through the african-american lens.
we will see these documents and conversation with the african-american communities and you really get understanding about how african-americans help develop the notion of freedom liberties in the united states. >> let me not take you back to one of our most important artifacts. let's go back and look at the cabins. when we were preparing to build this exam, the number one -- this museum, the number one issue people wanted to talk about in another -- number one issue people did not let's talk about was slavery. in some way we really feel that part of our contribution is helping americans grapple with the impact of slavery. , not tocan-americans
see slavery is something that is rather embarrassing, but to remind people that all of us wish we are strong as our enslaved ancestors. or to be able to help americans realize that this is a story that tells us as much about american economic growth, assperity, american politics anything else. the slave cabin as one of the most important ways we begin to tell that story. by juxtaposing a cabin versus the kind of plantation house of the owner, but to give people a sense that slavery from human scale. and if you can talk quickly about how you got it, mary. >> so quickly, my director really wanted a slave cabin. i was very excited to go in search of that and i worked with and we were able to find a slave cabin in south carolina. this was the founding of america well, but this right here really tells a human story. it is a community story and it's
an american story. with preservation society you had this cabin and did not want to see it fall to the wayside that they offered it to us interesting. we worked with the community there including descendents of the slaves and slaveholding families. we are proud to have this in the exhibition. they work with us to help uncover a lot of the history related to this particular site cabin which is produced in 1853. we will tell the story of slavery and freedom on the front to theut as you go exhibition on the backside because the story of emancipation because this cabin is significant to both of their stories, particularly after emancipation came it is this site graphic african-americans receive land, land was taken away and ultimately the land went back to the slaveholding family. we are excited to be a motel both stories with this one magnificent object. what you have walked through
there has been a discussion of slavery, there's a new words of the in late, the civil war, here as mary said 'freedom. i wanted to point out something is important to us. and all the floors here on the history galleries, we had these boots were people -- booth were people can add their reflections the notions of what this means. that also is no information for us. we'll be able to use that as it may forward and make changes in the exhibitions. the goal here is to make sure that while there is a lot of technology in terms of making it acceptable, the key for us is to get the public to share their thoughts, their notions, their histories with us like they have already said that can inform the work we do.
so we would have left slavery and freedom, now we are marching our way up to the error of reconstruction. era of in iraq -- reconstruction. it prepares you for the age of segregation. as they go to each one, there will be a major story that will help you understand the next piece you are looking at. one of the things that we want people to understand is that history is not stagnant, the expanse of african-americans is not stagnant. this is a cabin that we collected from maryland. this is a cabin built immediately after the civil war by a friedman -- newly freed community. if they desire after slavery to come together as communities and as families support each other
as they began the transition from slavery to freedom. but also, freedom is so important. it is hard to describe how important freedom was for people who did not have it. for these -- for many folks, likely never able to build this cabin, they realize my slave cabins were one story. in thatbuilt to stories second story speaks of freedom. it is in some ways freedom made concrete, made manifest. so for us, this juxtaposition being able to look down at the cabin from -- and juxtaposing with this amazing cabinet helps people and very profound ways understand all of the things that must abound in people's minds as they tried to figure out what does it mean to be free. this cabinet is one of those examples of that. --s whole section >> with the destruction of
slavery, the issue becomes, what does it mean to have free african-americans amidst us, or how do they define their own freedom and how does the nation to find it. what are the limitations that each place on the other. there is literally a contest any of african-american welding not only their houses, but institutions, organizations, schools, educational systems, churches, community groups, all of which are meant to give themselves control over their lives. and on the other hand, you have efforts by the larger society to contain those efforts and what very rigidolves is a and all-encompassing sense of segregation enforced by law. that sets up then what happens later on which is the resistance, which is constant during this time. possums in the mid-20th century. -- blossoms in the mid-20th century as an effort to obtain
similar and freedom in a new sense. this is the first time i've 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's also obviously being used by individuals and also classes so teachers can control how this would work. i've seen this as a 12 inch screen, the six month. the point is that again, throughout the museum we are trying to find all of the different ways and platforms to educate. this talks about the civil rights movement itself. the struggles, challenges, as bill framed it. we also wanted to be able to create, have some artifacts that would really be dramatic and
the powere understand of discrimination. what you have here -- this is a segregated railroad car from southern railways, 1929. this is one of the cars, this is one of the artifacts that we brought to the museum before the roof was closed because he would not have been able to get it and otherwise. but this means is that 40 years from now the directors will be cursing my name at this would 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 trinity, but it was like the african-american community, and in their you will hear the words of people talking like to walk felt to the part where you saw what the white community sees -- the second artefact that is so large it does guard tower from
angola prison louisiana. part of the goal is to talk about the impact of the criminal on america, on african-americans for this particular guard tower houses understand the story -- of peonage that after the civil war that many african-american men and tried on minor charges put in prison. then their labor was least to governments, two companies, two people were building roads. in essence sort of keep them under control and to use the labor much like they did during enslavement. these two artifacts will probably never moved to what we would like to do is let you go up and derek will show you it. they careful of all this. -- be careful of all this. >> visitors will be able to walk through their to help give us a good sense between the colored only section and the white only section.
walk around the railcar to get an overview. this actually came from tennessee and kentucky. this is the graph above. car without the , with just as one freestanding wall so we had to get close enough not to collapse one thing you might have noticed that the angle of the wall. about a 40 d slope -- four degree slope. it gives a nice false perspective. this room opens up.
i'll forward of this wall is a two meter thick concrete wall that holds back the surface. this is a freestanding 65 foot column that has a lot of lateral load on it. >> we have had a collecting effort after louisiana state penitentiary for a number of years. we were inducted and correcting jail cell which we did and you will see. as part of the conversation, we got to talking about other potential objects on those environments. angola is the largest maximum-security prison in america. it is the size basically of manhattan. there are thousands of people in prison there. , the vast majority are african-american now.
so it may had the opportunity to collect this tower, we jumped at the chance and thought about what that meant after. so what it meant is that we had into largeand -- pieces. the bottom and the top. we had to contrast with the firm to get clearance to get onto the prison. it was collected from a different -- defunct part of the prison. they had to cut it in half, truck it up your along with the train car is in tennessee -- which was in tennessee and get plucked in place into the building where it was put back together. >> watch your step.
>> was given to the museum and paul was instrumental in that as well. is as given while it combination of a given purchase for the exam to help us talk about the tuskegee airmen from world war ii. it is a great, great story of an air force pilot who wanted to find a plane that he can play with and that he can sort of put together as a hobby. the more he began to put the
plane together, and he found the hub of the plane, had to find a variety of serial numbers that sort of gave off parts of the plane. so serial numbers revealed that the plane was indeed one of the few teske trainer planes that was used and sort of stationed at milton field and alabama. out, there he found more -- the more he wanted to learn about it and the tuskegee airmen will be new nothing about. he succeeded in rebuilding the plane. he succeeded in finding and touching base with tuskegee airmen. he convinced them to fight with thato a variety of places held airshows around the
country. he actually, we helped them put soether a -- an exhibition he flew the plane around, telling the story that he did not even know before he discover the plane. and then finally decided to contribute the plane to the museum. we gave him just a bit of money so that he could then purchase another plain city to continue with his hobby. california i believe, a flew the plane from california to washington dc as he circled it around the national harbor, purchased or the tuskegee airmen were having their annual conference. they all gathered outside and watched as the plane circled the dullesand then headed to airport where it was decommissioned to prepare for this exhibition.
>> this is 1968 to the present, the goal was -- there's a few of you old enough to number the 60's that one of the things as pickets. a lot of picket signs everywhere. we took that notion of pickets and began to use them so there uniformation of islam and their black panther material, eunice -- material on cultures and women. we talk about what were trying to accomplish and get a little bit more on the resurrection -- >> visitors had been through an exhibition dealing with enslavement. the nave been through next exhibition dealing with the air of segregation. of segregation. now the successful of the civil rights movement does away with legal segregation, but what does freedom now mean in this new situation? there is kind of a shift in the
town, not the goals, but the tone of what was known as the traditional classic civil rights movement. then it becomes something called black power. so what we tried to evoke in this section must be picket sign designs is the sense of energy and for those of us who graduated from high school in 1968, we remember just exactly how traumatic that year was. which martinear in luther king jr. is assassinated. it is the year and which robert kennedy is assassinated. this is the year in which the democratic national convention in chicago turns into what was termed later a police right. this is the year and which the antiwar movement reaches a crescendo. this is the year and which this nation is on edge in many ways. so we try to evoke that in this section. when there is music, think about the emotion that will come out as you hear the music of the late 1960's. one of the keynotes of that era
was just before his death, martin luther king established a slightly larger pigeon, a vision around economic justice that was to include excessively all manner of americans. all different groups. the idea was to bring pressure on the federal government by creating an encampment here in washington dc called resurrection city and working to lobby and work on legislation with various government agencies . so resurrection city was an encampment of 3500 people on the mark alongside of the reflecting pool. and plywood and canvas tents were erected for the residents and on this plywood sides, residents created their own murals. hundreds of them. and we were able to collect from an individual who had salvaged one of those murals after the camp was destroyed and kept it for the last 50 years. we were able to collect one of
those meals. the resurrection city is part of the last part division of martin luther king and also marks a transition to a world of the civil rights and which can is not the major leader. so there is a change in town. the other thing to point out about resurrection city, 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 trinity. i think that's an important transition that people have been trying to fulfill that vision ever since then. thing to point out about resurrection city, you suddenly see latino issues. you see that the movement is not a single movement for one get -- we get we everybody? this piece, this is a piece that begins to look at the 70's, 80's, 90's, to thousands, and some of the signature moments. you can tell this will be part
-- someone who is pivotal and our understanding of the change in television, they will of women, issues of race. each of these gives you peaks and peaks into some of the artifacts of the era. from the 1970's you have slice of esters family stone keyboard. the 1980's, you have jesse jackson for president materials. from the 1990's, you have a nelson mandela and the million man march. then from the 2000, you have a voting booth for my florida precinct, and you have material from katrina. this is rare in a way it's a very quick overview, but in fact remember, unlike slavery the era of or even segregation, every person who comes through this exhibition
has a personal experience, is able to draw personally a memory of satiated with at least some of these artifacts and images. in the sense that journalism is the first draft of history, we are encouraging people because of our affection booth at the end of this highway. to participate in creating that that is reflection, more than simply journalistic in the first draft of history. we did not feel competent to make those judgments. we won our visitors to help us do that. example there is some wonderful things, some public enemy posters, banner, but also we have -- that looks at barack obama. the goal was not to look at the legacy obama but the impact of the election. to look at that as a transformative moment. we talked about how he wanted to create supplies in the moment.
so this grand stage is a space that obviously you would come out after you've gone through all this history galleys -- galleries. if you are the general public you would've gone to a history gallery and taken the elevator all the way down. , if youou over here is member the oculus that is pointed out to you where the water will flow down, it you can't see in, but that will be a reflective space that will have water coming down. quotations and it's a nice wonderful spot. in the space you have a restaurant would be to the right, our changing exhibition galleries will be to left, and behind me is the oprah winfrey theater. in front of us is this wonderful cultural stairway that derek will tell you how -- >> no columns, no support, it will be our connection from
central hall above down to those -- to the oprah winfrey theater. you can see how the corona sets off from the structure and creates a very nice atreus space. as a clerestory of to the bottom of the deck and on a day like today you see how much light you are casting. you are about 35 feet below. in aes not seem your down basin area, it's really you can it about 2000e people walking around. one of the things you go through the building and you will see already you will notice the goal was thate when you go into a building traditionally, what you go into the building and you forget you're on the wall. here he wanted to say that the molly sacred space. at the mall gives you an opportunity to look out at arlington cemetery where many of the african-americans who fled from freedom during the civil
war ended up dying. you'll be able to see where the march on washington was by looking at the lincoln memorial. near this site so much happened that is important. say we want you in the building. we want to recognize where this building is. so we will go into the oprah winfrey theater which is an example of how he is the corona and interesting ways.
>> this will hold about 350 feet and this is where -- really going to be one of our major spaces for public programs. this stage has state-of-the-art soundproofing, and for -- wonderful opportunities for film , for dancing, for spoken word, so in essence, this is really just one of those surprises in the building. opera was here and she liked it. she did the happy dance. now we will cut through and head back to the elevator and go up to the first floor. as i said, the museum is divided into thirds. one third really history galleys he looked at. a second 30 security galleries that palm will talk about an
frame for you. and then the final third are really the culture galleries. the notion was that the galleries you went through give you that narrative. we'll take you from africa to today. then these other galleries go into detail in different areas whether it sports or military. whether it's music, theater, dance. in essence, and the best of worlds you start down and work your way up. the reality is that we want to make sure at the very least the public, school kids can get a sense of the narrative to understand how this history fits and how they fit into that history. >> i need everyone to stand together. there are a lot of objects out. when we move, but smooth as a group.
>> right now we are in the heart of the community floor. as ronnie mentioned, one of the big goals of the museum is to provide people that variety of views into this history and culture. so we wanted to create a florida focused on issues of community, small and large. on this floor, let me orient you quickly. behind you is the national mall. and behind me as constitution avenue. on this floor there are four exhibitions. all rely on and explore themes of community from very small places and neighborhoods . the exhibition you are in right
now is our place. two large topics and themes of community such as the military and national belonging. and the military history exhibition is to my right, your left. communitiesns and that are created through sports. that is to my left and you're right. it's called a leveling the playing field. the glue that ties of these galleries together is an exhibition that wraps the floor called making a way out of nowhere. it is a central organizing and in some ways spiritual concept for african-american history and culture and communities across time. this exhibition focuses on improvementor through education, strategies for equality through politics and protest.
integration in some respects. so it looks that religion, politics, it looks at and it looks that individuals and communities. that is the skin of what we are looking at here. right now you are in my exhibition called the power of place. so here we go. the power of place looks at this question of pces. s?at do we mean by place s for our museum is important that we let people know that african-american history is broad and line. -- wide. we have to find a way to represent it and all of it geographic diversity from north, south, east, west. the place is more than that. place a something we all feel and we all have. based is emotional and about memory.
so what we have done here is we have identified 10 unique places across time and across regions that we did -- dip people into any subversive way from the bronx in the 1970's looking at the development of the bronx. we going to hip-hop to chicago and the defender in the 1930's and 40's and looking at making of a black metropolis. too tall so, oklahoma in 1921 of looking at the resilience the african-american community in greenwood and response to one of the most devastating race riots in our country's history. intois what we drop people and power of place. intimate stories that humanize the big history across place and time. in the middle we have what we call the hub. it's the central place where
-- the center were help visitors explore ideas about community. stories about face and displacement. stories about movement and migration. a lot of the stories will be driven by people in the heart of it will be a wonderful interactive digital cable that will be crowdsourcing people stories of their own places that will continually refresh and reload. so it will help us to bring that sense of both diversity and uniqueness, but also that sense of person on this and emotionalism that we want to bring to all the corners of busy them. reason -- museum. we 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 the military. the goal is to say on the one hand, you will explore this because you like sports. you want to see jackie robinson tigerno, you want to see woods make that putt. for as, the real story is what is the meaning of sports. to integrateused america. how is sport used to say that if as fast or cats as well that may be equality and of the areas would follow. important to realize that while this is about wonderful athletic moments, it is really about moment that have transformed america. that is why one of the objects that you will see, there will be a statue here of 1968 power olympics with tommy smith and john carlos so we really set the stage about athletic achievement, but also about consequences.
-- social consequences. so we quickly go through. stay with me. >> these are carl lewis's medals . >> in addition to seeing this wonderful material, this is a wall of game changes. the nation appear are people whose athletic achievement transcended sports. paul robison as an all-american football player, but also as an actor and activist. when we talk about title ix, the impact of title ix on women and what that meant for when his athleticism. the harlem globetrotters. in essence, it's really about
trying to give you more detail than you might normally think. goes into aof these different sport. we will cut through based on our way up to the foot. it's real tight and here so be careful as you walk. so again, always think of different ways to engage and entertain. obviously the baseball stadium. you actually get to sit and watch film footage, but it's also an example of the kind of -- we have. we have moment throughout the building where you can peek and see where you are at various stages you have information that will tell you not just what you are looking at, but what was once a day. so you begin to see the evolution of --
we will take you now to the elevator and go up to the floor. and is our last out -- stop we will probably divide the group. i will go with the first group and then we will talk about what's going on there. let's step just inside a bit. joanna is the curator of cultural expression which is the exhibit we are in. this is a floor that speaks about the impact of culture on two levels. one is the creativity that african-americans brought to the cultural production. helpsso how culture -- people survive, helps people grapple with discrimination, helps people find joy in most difficult times. so that in essence, this is a place of celebration, but it's
also a place that helps us understand how people believe in a better day when they should not have believed in a better day. on the fifth floor, it's the highest floor of exhibition galleries of the entire museum. there are four cultural galleries on this floor for different aspects of african-american culture. a visual arts gallery which takes you through our journey andugh african-american art how they contributed to the history of american heart. there's a gallery called musical crossroads which also takes you on a journey through different john was a music african-americans created. from the moment they came here as enslaved africans, through the slave trade all the way up to the present day, they are taking the stage with african-americans in theater and film and television. and a long struggle for the control of their representation and the achievement they made in those different mediums. there is also cultural
expressions here expects that cultural traits and practices that some people think identifiable with african-americans. what were really trained to do is expandhibition your awareness of what is considered african-american culture. when you go to the food section you won't be just learning about so food, but other cuisines that african-americans contributed to the development, because we were always in everyone's kitchen. hercules who is george washington's cook and was known to celebrate his ship. you'll also learn about thomas downey who owned a fine seafood dining establishment in new york. the fashion section, a lot of people associate fashion with american -- african-american hip-hop. but you also learn about the woman who created jackie
kennedy's wedding dress. you learn about one of the first fashion designers to break the color barrier. you also learn about the all-black world of fashion that existed during segregation went african-americans had limited access to the mainstream fashion road, they created their own fashion world. they were fashion designers who are help made within this committees themselves. thatu look at the top of post, it should look familiar to you. sculpture who were known for craftsmanship. it is one of the sources that actually inspire the shape of this building. expect to speak to how much
traits are still existing here in the u.s.. the source ofa is inspiration and racial pride for african-americans here as they create these again as they create poetry you will see examples of that throughout all the galleries. what i would like to do, do something specific would you like to talk about your gallery? this gallery is so cool. i discovered here and hang out. -- just come here and hang out. are four sections in this gallery. cuisine as i mentioned before, language, which looks at everything from different languages that african-americans spoke because they were in certain leaders that created new language but also things like slang, african-american english. it looks at the fact that language differs depending on where you live in the united is. and it is used for multiple purposes including liberation. there were these great debaters
where students are trained to learn to master the art of debates that they could defeat stereotypes about african-american superiority -- inferiority. it also looks at djs and how black djs when they finally got access to the main street have create community by putting andk idiomatic expressions sounds and music african-americans were messages did in. it also looked at political rhetoric, people like michael nexen martin luther king and how they used political speech is a tool for liberation. then there is a fashion section. fashion looks at more than just clothing. , so styles that have developed over time. moves away from the idea that straight hair with better hair to adopting more natural styles and being proud of curly natural hair. it also looks at image identity. looks at skin issues with
impunity. us have seen pictures of mary anderson when she sang at the lincoln memorial of easter morning 1939. we don't realize that that's the color she wore. this is what she wore when she sang. behind me over here is cap calloway's 1929 suit. you can imagine the array of musical talent that we will talk about. a ray charles material, michael jackson's fedora. this is whitney houston's dress. favorites, not that i have any influence, but earth wind and fire. then we have material from kool and the gang. so what is so powerful about this is again, the biggest
challenge in doing the museum andbuilding a collection the staff has done such a good job being able to find this amazing material. so i want you to get a quick music, and the center when this is done, it will be a dance floor. you able to go in and you will be invalid by screens that will give you some of the greatest performances in african a musical history and if you want to dance, you would be able to go out and dance. if you want to dance like i do means he will be watching other people dance. this is the penultimate stop. this is a guy who looks at film, television, and theater. we have amazing things. when you think of the struggle to present images of african-americans that were just -- it's a long struggle and we play a lot of that out. so to point out a few things,
when you come in here, you'd be careful because he had to walk around a lot of pretty come in here and you see the p&f from august wilson, you see costumes over here. i want to show you my favorite artifact in this whole gallery. while we have a lot of amazing ,hings from film and television this is one of the rarest things we have. from 1867, a playbill where i were aldrich is playing a fellow for the first time. the first time summary black is actually playing a cello. he had to leave the country and he did this performance for about a week. to me, someone who went to howard, suddenly to be able to have something as powerful as this.
i think it's one of the great joys of the museum that you'll find these kinds of treasures. newcastle. so part of the cool stuff you will see -- this is one of my favorite things it right here. these are costumes for cover girls. backyou look you will go -- -- i will say something else. ---- show you something else.
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. an early oscar michelle movie poster from the 1920's. this is part of our job to help people relearn history they think they know. that movie posters from spencer williams. he is known by most people is playing and amos and andy. he was the most important black film directors in the late 30's and that is one of his films. we also have amazing things in here. .hat beautiful green gown back of you that watch bad expectation movies, that is from the mac. then this is that from beverly hills cop. again, trying to
show what the movies were, but what they really are about. the struggle to define and control one's identity. so take a quick peek. let me had to the last stop. dick groat agree, the goal here comedy plays an important political role as well. so we expect the film and television theater to be very exciting. one of the wonderful moments in the museum. , this resumeng is is also about the distance and views. yet the create opportunities for the public to get great views. outside here we are taken to the overlook where you get a great view of the national mall.
hold on your hat. this gives you a chance to come and get a view. you can see everything. then seat the cemetery, lincoln memorial, you can see is part ofouse, it our desire to give people these moments. in essence, what this is is you happy nickel tour of the museum. i want to thank you, but before i let you all had backed down to see if there any questions that i could answer. i know he went through quickly, but i want you to get a sense of the possibilities of the museum.
so if there are any questions, i will answer them. i'm a yankee fan, let's be clear. now i do the rest. i think that the visiting of this resume is something that i expect people to come back to as a cool drop of water. he drank it time and time again. i expect that there is amazing knowledge in this museum based on the curators so no one person is going to be able to get all this knowledge. feel, this is a really important educational opportunity because of that knowledge and because of the sony in. candidly, their people come to the smithsonian who wrestle with issues, race, other issues. have fourized that we to 5 million visitors annually walking in the door and 70 to 80
million visitors online every year. so for us, yes it's about information that we convey, but it's really about helping america understand how it's been profoundly shaped the story. and quite candidly, to also be a space for those conversations that we have trouble having. to be able to have the kind of program like we had been recently on ferguson, baltimore, and so we want to do things that are about the joy, but we don't want to run away from the pain. we realize that america sometimes as a country that revels in its ability to forget. to help america remember. that's what we think you will do as you go through this museum. any other questions i could answer for you? >> what surprises do have at this stage that can back to the idea versus reality now.
i think that will meet first set of this idea, we did not really think about the corona appeared that has become a signature piece that really was not part of our discussions. i think the pleasant surprises been how the public has shared their artifacts, their stories, their history. it is as if people say it's about time. so in semi but we know as curators and scholars is the biggest present surprise -- pleasant surprise is how important it is for us to realize that what we are doing is not building a museum, not even building collections, what we are doing is holding people's culture and our hands. our hands. so we think that is the most important responsibility we have. itt, i think helps feel how has become too so many people a surprise. we knew it was important to the smithsonian, but we have been overwhelmed by people who stop us on the street and said i'm praying for you.
were people who say i've all this stuff -- or people who just basically every time i get into a cap, the cabdriver talks about it. i was going some place the guy have you90 museum -- seen that him is him -- new museum? i think the joy and the desire that people want for this museum has surprised me. watch this and other american artifacts programs anytime by visiting our website, c-span.org/history. all week and history tv featuring port huron, c-span cities tour's recently visited many sites showcasing the city's history report here on was incorporated in 1857 and is located about 60 miles northeast
of trade. learn more now about four huron all weekend here on american history tv. on the fourth floor of what's called him in a simple federal reserve city hall. it's right on the crow river. probably the most eastern point of michigan. the city of port huron actually a population is around 30,000 .eople of which is a decrease at one time back in many years ago, probably back 50, 60 years, about summer in the 40's. as economic changes and industry changes, it has decreased over the years. demographically, we probably have an assortment of all different types of people, but i would collect a little bit on the distressed side. we do have, we also have a lot of the rentals and social
services and things like that. the most't have maybe stable population. it comes and it goes. and economically, probably not the highest income. so it kind of is a broad spectrum. it is a very nice community to live in and a nice place to raise her family. we have a whole lot of different things going on. we are always a little bit higher than the rest of the county or state. ithigan is traditionally -- has. we have had a lot of improvements over the last couple of years. everybody suffered in 2008 when the economy tanked. we are all kind of crawling out of that.
we had some wonderful things happening right now here. so i'm very proud of that. right now, there has been a really interesting downtime -- town area. everyone has been got to malls ourthat type of thing, downtown has really revitalized. we had a lot of new businesses downtown. a lot of new restaurants and bars and little quaint stores. we are getting more loft apartments, something i would have said years ago would go. but it has been a surge of days. we have so many that they have waiting lists and there are two separate contract is right now building some more loft downtown. that is good because in his last, it's mostly the younger whatssionals and that is
you obviously are looking for student younger people to come back here and the jobs to come back year. that is what we really have been working on and has been successful in that manner. we also have which would be right behind brian standing right now on the river a piece of property which used to hold our ymca. it was sold to the city just a few years ago and demolished and the property was made development ready. we have actually sold that piece of property to a developer, they are going to put high-rise condos on the. they haven't decided on the exact plan yet, they're still the stages, but they should be started by probably the first of the year at the latest. it will probably at least 4-5 stories high. this will really bring a lot of people into town to. that is what we are looking for. kind of redeveloping ourselves are reinventing ourselves as more of a place to come to not only if you're younger, but for and getting people to
live in the downtown area has been very, very much a part of that. i think one of the key parts of w -- wetory of course i have celebrated our centennial. we are very proud of the lighthouse and the fact that people can visit and walked up to the top of it and the cap and here they cure on. certainly it was back in the day that you had shipping around this area and logging and obviously not today, but as john part of our heritage. -- a strong part of our heritage. the bridge was built in 19 38. , before to be able to that you had to take a ferry if you were going across. that is certainly a cumbersome way to travel back and forth. the commerce, the amount of
commerce we get from canada to the united states is asher not go. it goes a lot of through port huron, but a lot people come from canada to port to shop. it's a big part of the success of the businesses in this area, not just the city of port huron, but the surrounding area too. it important for commerce that they had the bridge. the secondey open span of the bridge. both sides are packed back-and-forth. truck traffic is all the way across the bridge sometimes. it is still very much during its job for the commerce between -- i think in the future that port huron is only going to get better. i really do see a lot of interest. we've had a lot of interest from investors. that is one of the reasons we ended up with the refurbishment of what our old thomas edison
and. inn. it is a hotel that's going downtown and investor from the west side of the state. i think were getting more notice from other places, a lot of times people did not know where port -- much about port huron. that got us was just a small little town by the bridge when you drive a good now i think we getting a better reputation so it's deathly worth coming here. it's worth seeing our parts in our beaches and what history we have and the people are friendly and me have nice places to go. i think were going to have a resurgence even more than we have now of our downtown and other businesses coming in and investments in the community. i'm looking forward to good things happening. this weekend we are featuring the history of port huron, michigan. together with our comcast cable partners. learn more about port here on and other stops on our cities
tour at c-span.org/cities tour. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. tonight, c-span's issue spotlight looks at police and race relations. we show president obama at the memorial service for five police officers shot and killed in dallas. >> when the bullets started fine, -- flying, the men and women of dallas police did not flinch, and they did not react recklessly. south carolina republican senator tim scott giving a speech on the senate floor about his own interactions with police. >> the message geordie of the time i have was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or some other reason just as trivial. our program also includes one family story about an encounter with a lease in washington dc,
followed by a panel with the city's police chief cathy the near. >> most people get defensive if they feel like you're being offense appeared being very is not a crisis, design dangerous situation. request versus demand. those things change dynamics of the debate. issue spotlight on police and race relations tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span and c-span.org. >> next on american history tv, author and historian david silkenat looks at the confederate defeat at the end of the civil war and the idea of southern honor. mr. silkenat explains how generals, politicians and citizens in the north and south viewed the concept of honor and how that perception shaped to their decisions during and after -- shaped their decisions during and after the war. this hour-long event was part of