WASHINGTON, D.C. — Visitors to our nation's Capitol have a new must-see stop on the museum circuit: the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
The Smithsonian's latest installment opens this weekend.
Designers said 400 years of history come to life in the unique setting, which promises to educate and inspire people of all races.
"You get to remember all these people who have been left out of history, therefore their lives matter. Their stories matter," museum director Lonnie Bunch said. "The other thing you do is — this is framed in a way that says — this is everybody's story. It's not black people's story. It's the story of America."
There's plenty to see among the more than 30,000 artifacts on display here, everything from cool items like rock-n-roller Chuck Berry's candy-red Cadillac to George Clinton's P-funk mothership!
But there are also reminders of our dark past such as slave shackles that were used on children.
"The goal was to find that tension between moments of tears and moments of great joy," Bunch said.
But visitors might be surprised to learn that not one major artifact from the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is displayed here.
It turns out MLK's kids want a ton of cash for their father's historic items.
For years, the King heirs have demanded huge payouts just to show clips of their father's speeches.
MLK's kids even fought each other in court recently over who gets to sell their father's Nobel Peace Prize and bible.
So, the new museum can't afford King family items for now.
But that won't dim the museum's other works.
As Bunch said, "This is a place that looks back, that revels in the past but points us to the future."