Power Source: Smithsonian’s Cultural Expansion

by WL Author

Museum of African American History and Culture begins new chapter of cultural celebration.
By Adoria Doucette

The next addition to the National Mall: The National Museum of African American History and Culture (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

The complex beauty of life on earth is awe inspiring, and the heart of the American experience is to utilize our meritocratic Republic to achieve collective greatness. From the smallest molecular particle to the largest organism, nature continues to unfold to reveal the wonders of what is perceived through human consciousness. From a scientific perspective, our universe is over 13 billion years old. Through the wonders of human ingenuity, the last 100 years have been the most magical, unlocking the mainly mathematical wonders of nature to bring humanity comforts, conveniences and the ability to enhance the earthly experience for all. The explosive progress of human knowledge has been due in large part to the assimilation, preservation and universality of information. This is the foundation of our human culture.

A great paradox in the history of humanity is that the oldest and most revered source of cultural accomplishment took place in an area that is still only in its infancy of 21st-century influence, and is indeed, the last great cultural frontier — the continent of Africa. The beauty of the cultural influence of the African diaspora comes from the distribution of African resources that have mostly benefited nations and peoples outside of the continent. In recent world history, the United States of America has arguably been the greatest beneficiary of this distribution of knowledge, not necessarily through a distribution of information, but a contribution of actual human talent. We are all familiar with the evil and murderous history of how millions of native Africans arrived in North America. Beyond this, in fact even during this period, African natives and their descendants immediately began to make historical contributions to the arts, scholarly pursuits, economics and every other major function of American life. The African American experience reached new heights when Barack Obama assumed the most important individual position in human history, President of the United States.

President Obama at the dedication for the Museum of African American History and Culture. (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

Organized intelligence is such a powerful force that oppressive governments have throughout history gone to extremes to suppress it. From book burning to Taliban tactics, there is a long and dark record of keeping a populace from their inalienable right to information. As its entomological root dictates, culture must be cultivated in order to grow and be healthy, if not, it will stagnate. Earlier this year President Obama ushered in a new institution that will forever preserve the contributions and influence of African Americans on the culture and identity of our great Republic.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a shining example of how the Smithsonian Institution continues to distinguish itself as the most prestigious and most comprehensive collection of museums in the world. It’s led by a council of our leading citizens that includes Oprah Winfrey, Laura Bush, Colin Powell, Ruth Simmons, Quincy Jones, Linda Johnson Rice. The museum is slated to be completed in 2015 located in the last available space on the National Mall, in between the Museum of American History and the Washington Monument. The building will be a prime example of 21st century building technology, with hot water solar panels on the roof and a geothermal groundwater system.

I am proud to be affiliated with this historical movement, and Power Source will be working closely with Timothy Burnside, Abby Benson, Fleur Paysour, and Dwandalyn Reece of the Smithsonian to ensure that you are engaged with the dozens of events and initiatives that will take place to celebrate the opening of the museum. One such event took place over the summer when a lifelong friend of mine and Power Source veteran George Clinton helped celebrate the museum by headlining an event with Tom Joyner, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ivan Neville and Dempstaphunk titled “Bring Back the Funk.”

Tom Joyner celebrates his charter membership of the museum. (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

We often chide Congress for its internal squabbles, but let us celebrate the wisdom and appreciation that was expressed through the action of chartering the forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture. Stay tuned for more updates on the Smithsonian’s celebration of this vital institution, and I encourage all to continue to make their own history every day.

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