Obama to inaugurate museum designed by Ghanaian architect

The museum showcases the history of African Americans from slavery through to the civil rights movement, the success and contributions of Black icons such as Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks and James Brown and reflections on the current uproar of the killing of unarmed Black people in the United States.

The museum was designed by Ghanaian born British architect David Adjaye. David is the son of a Ghanaian diplomat and was born in Tanzania in 1966.

He has described the museum as " a monument to understanding the African American experience."

"It's a great thing that America is able to make a museum on its front lawn to make sure that conversation is never lost," he told Al-Jazeera.


The museum is located on the same grounds African slaves brought from places such as present day Ghana were sold off to the highest bidders.

Slaves worked as cheap labourers on large plantations and as domestic servants under harsh conditions by their white 'owners'.

The museum overlooks many of America's national monuments including the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King gave the I have a dream speech and is about 10 minutes away from the White House which was also built with slave labour.

There will be a grand opening that will see appearances and performances by Stevie Wonder, Michelle Obama and George Bush Jr.

Critics say a museum that celebrates African American history and culture has been long overdue.


Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States of America and is in the last months of his eight year stay in power.

Adjaye has a stellar portfolio including the design for the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Rivington Place in London in and most recently the design of a children's cancer hospital in Rwanda.


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