05-22-2018  2:48 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Ejected for Trump-quoting shirt, student sues school

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon student suspended for wearing a "Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co." T-shirt has sued his school, claiming the punishment violated his right to free speech.According to a complaint filed May 18 in Oregon District Court, Addison Barnes wore the shirt to...

Police: 1 killed, 1 injured in Oregon shooting

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have made an arrest in a shooting that left one person dead and another wounded in a rural community west of Corvallis.Benton County Undersheriff Greg Ridler says deputies responded Monday night to a shooting in progress at a home on Tum Tum Road in...

Police identify driver in Oregon crash that killed 4

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have identified the wrong-way driver in a fiery, quadruple fatal crash in southwestern Oregon.Oregon State Police say a car driven by 65-year-old Gayle Ward of Vancouver, Washington, was southbound on Interstate 5 when it suddenly turned around and began...

Agencies warn of cougars after fatal attack on cyclist

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Local and federal agencies are warning residents in western Washington and central Oregon to be on the lookout for cougars.The Sunriver Police Department and the Bureau of Land Management both issued warnings Saturday after sightings of the animal were reported in Sunriver...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Clinton backing Abrams for Georgia governor

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the gubernatorial primary in Georgia (all times local):5:40 p.m.Hillary Clinton is urging Democrats in Georgia to make sure to vote in support of Stacey Abrams for governor.Clinton recorded a 60-second endorsement used by the Abrams campaign in direct phone calls...

Palestinians ask ICC to investigate alleged crimes by Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Accusing Israel of systematic crimes, including apartheid in the occupied territories, Palestinians on Tuesday urged the International Criminal Court to open an investigation that could ultimately lead to charges against Israeli leaders.Israel immediately...

Man charged with shooting at black teen waives hearing

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit homeowner accused of shooting at a black teenager who came to his door to ask for directions will stand trial.Jeffrey Zeigler was bound over Tuesday to circuit court after waiving his preliminary examination on assault with intent to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — R. Kelly sexually abused and demeaned a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes, according to a lawsuit that furthers a string of misconduct accusations against the platinum-selling singer.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday...

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and...

Nielsen's top programs for May 14-20

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for May 14-20. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.1. "NCIS," CBS, 12.71 million.2. "Roseanne," ABC, 10.74 million.3. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 9.44 million.4. NBA Conference Finals: Golden State at Houston, Game 1, TNT, 8.9...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Judge sides with parents, boots adult son from New York home

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — In a real-life case of "Failure to Launch," an upstate New York judge Tuesday ordered...

Trump won't say if he has confidence in Rosenstein

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declined to say Tuesday whether he has confidence in Deputy...

The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a year spent carefully cultivating two princes from the Arabian Peninsula, Elliott...

Tear gas, broken windows disrupt Paris labor march

PARIS (AP) — Clashes between police and groups of masked youths erupted Tuesday on the sidelines of a labor...

The Latest: Italy PM pick had 'no official status' at NYU

MILAN (AP) — The Latest on the law professor picked to be Italy's next premier (all times local):9:45...

The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a year spent carefully cultivating two princes from the Arabian Peninsula, Elliott...

July 18, 2016, Museum Director Lonnie Bunch stands in-front of an art piece representing hip-hop group Public Enemy in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, during a media tour. The museum's grand opening will be on Sept. 24. (AP Photo/Paul Holston)
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lonnie Bunch leans forward to peer inside a slave cabin from Edisto Island, South Carolina. The dark and cramped interior defies his attempts to showcase the small living space its occupants subsisted on.

Bunch flips on the flashlight on a borrowed smartphone, illuminating for his guests the craftsmanship, the hard work and the love that the cabin's former occupants put into what little they had.

The unification of the old and the new, and the use of modern techniques to explain the historical past — that's what the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Bunch, its founding director, are striving for when the newest Smithsonian museum opens on the National Mall next month. President Barack Obama will help dedicate the museum on Sept. 24.

Proud of the striking, dark brown angular museum, Bunch sees its goal as helping all Americans understand and appreciate the rich cultural history of African-Americans, and to shine a light on the contributions and achievements of blacks to what the United States has become.

"This is an opportunity to take an amazing culture, and understand what it mean to be an American through this lens," said Bunch, as he toured observers around a special sneak peek inside the building.

The museum is designed to take visitors through African-American history in the United States from slavery, on the lower level, to a reproduction of Oprah Winfrey's television set upstairs and artifacts from Obama's first presidential campaign. The slavery exhibits are in rooms with small cramped walls to simulate slave ships. Also, there are pieces of an actual slave ship, the São José-Paquete de Africa, which wrecked off the coast of South Africa while carrying more than 400 enslaved people from Mozambique.

The slave cabin, from the Point of Pines Plantation on Edisto Island, is one of the largest exhibits and was dismantled and reconstructed piece by piece inside the new museum. While the names of the slaves who lived inside the cabin are unknown, Bunch said the exhibit is a good way to help humanize the people who lived through slavery and to help explore the meaning of their lives.

"What's important about this is that while slavery was a system that controlled people, it was also a system where people built homes and families and tried to sort of craft a life as best they could," he said.

Interior construction is nearly done, Bunch said, as he led a group of journalists around wires and exhibits still under construction: Parliament

Funkadelic's Mothership is completely covered, although its distinctive shape is instantly recognizable; a Maya Angelou quote placard "I am the dream and the hope of the slave" sits on a table waiting to be affixed to a wall along with quotes from Obama, Nikki Giovanni and Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza; and the playbill announcing Ira Aldridge as the first black man to play Shakespeare's Othello in 1857 in England is hidden behind brown paper on the wall to keep it safe.

Construction on the distinctive looking building is done, Bunch said, and about 40 percent of the exhibits are already inside.

Some of the artifacts are so big the museum had to be built around them: a 90-year-old, 44-seat Southern Railway car that will help explain

Jim Crow laws in the South, and 20-foot-plus guard tower from the Louisiana State Penitentiary prison called "Angola" after the plantation that once stood in its stead, to explore the use of policing and laws down South to help keep newly freed blacks in bondage.

But even history can be seen even from the shape of the museum, Bunch said. The bronze exterior of the building is actually a latticework based on historic ironwork created by African-American slaves and freedmen in the South, which fits into their goal of emphasizing the hidden history of African-Americans, Bunch said.

Our "goal was to craft a building that would help us remember the rich history of the African-American, so if you look at the building it has wonderful angles that are shaped both by West African material and women whose hands were at prayer at exactly that angle," Bunch said.

But history won't be static inside the museum, Bunch said.

For example, in the comedy exhibit right alongside quotes from famous black comedians such as Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx is a joke by Bill Cosby, the first African-American to star in a dramatic show on network television. Cosby faces allegations that he drugged and molested dozens of women over five decades, and the 78-year-old comedian has been spending millions in an aggressive bid to stay out of prison, salvage his reputation and avoid legal judgments that could threaten his fortune.

When questioned about the appropriateness of including Cosby, Bunch said the museum will "tell the story of what Bill Cosby was, what his impact was and ... the fact that his legacy is now being questioned. That's it."

The museum will not stop collecting and curating items, Bunch said, and will strive to stay modern. The Oprah Winfrey Theater inside the building will host conferences on race and other issues, Bunch said.

And the museum itself is still changing. Michael Jordan just gave a $5 million gift to the museum, which will now name its historical sports

"Game Changers" section the Michael Jordan Hall.

"African-American history did not stop with President Barack Obama's election, and so we won't stop there either," Bunch said. "There will be plenty for us to talk about in the future, and we're looking forward to helping Americans understand the contributions of African Americans to the rich tapestry of our culture."

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