'Game changer': Rev. Jesse Jackson talks Museum of African American History to RT (VIDEO)
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is gearing up to open in Washington, DC, not a moment too soon, according to civil rights activist, Reverend Jesse Jackson who spoke with RT.
The Museum of African American History will open on Saturday, following a week of protests over two highly publicized killings of black men by law enforcement officers. The museum will open with President Barack Obama ringing the “Freedom Bell” that was provided by the First Baptist Church in Virginia, USA Today reported.
The image of Obama at the opening of the African American history museum will linger after much else of 2016 fades away.— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) September 23, 2016
My grandmother was an original black panther in 1968 , she's now in the African-American Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.— Tahlía (@TahliaLindsey1) September 13, 2016
For many, the museum will offer a unique look at the culture and history that African-Americans have contributed to the US. But for some, it will hopefully provide a history lesson to its visitors on the depth of contributions and work that the US was founded on.
“It’s a game changer, in a sense,” Reverend Jackson told RT. “The narrative has been ‘the whites brought us here’ in the most general sense.”
He pointed out that slaves have been in the US since 1619. After 400 years of people of African descent living in America, Jackson says, “we’re not the bottom, we’re the foundation. Bottom is where you end up, foundation is where you start from.”
“All those whites who got their PhD in history have got to come and get their degree recertified because if it leaves out this chapter, it’s not authentic American history,” he said.
He also pointed out that the museum is especially important considering the current civil rights struggles against police brutality.
While many on social media wring their hands over the riots in Charlotte and bemoan the departure protests have taken since Martin Luther King, Jr.’s time, Jackson offered a brief history lesson.
If you have Bias against Black People carry your ass to the African American Museum n D.C. see our Struggle..you might learn something— sohn lewis (@SohnseanJohn) September 24, 2016
The 1967 Newark riots were fueled by police brutality, along with similar riots in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles, he said.
“Dr. King concluded that riots are the voices of the unheard,” he added.
Perhaps this museum can offer some context on the current situation.