On Sept. 24, the newly built National African-American Museum will open its doors to the public. This new institution added to the Smithsonian museums and the National Mall is a major milestone for the country, but it was only realized through a long battle that started even before the bill was passed in 2003 that allowed its fruition. Such hurdles included raising money for the $540 million building, winning over support in Congress, and finding a plot of land to build it in a city that is mandated by historical societies and the federal government.

The appointed museum direct, Lonnie G. Bunch III, approached it by framing the black experience within this country as "the quintessential American story," marked by overcoming institutionalized oppression and exhibiting progress while doing so. But like any major figure in Washington, Bunch also had to get political, which included making allies on the Hill and starting a conversation about a very touchy subject in a way that would still garner support.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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