Grand Opening for African American Civil War Museum

WI Staff Report | 6/20/2011, 2:58 p.m.

Grand opening ceremonies for the African American Civil War Museum located in Northwest, have been set to coincide with commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.

The three-day celebration, which kicks off on July 16, is themed "Civil War to Civil Rights, Pathway to Racial Healing,"and will include a Racial Reconciliation, Teachers and Scholars Conference and a Civil War to Civil Rights Film Festival.

"The purpose of the museum is to tell the story of how African Americans helped save the union and freed themselves from war," said Director Frank Smith, a former Ward 1 Councilman.

The grand opening for the museum which boasts $5 million in exhibits, takes place at noon on July 18. The event was planned to directly connect to the July 18, 1863 battle that was depicted in the movie "Glory," that starred Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington.

According to a statement issued by the museum, for more than 10 years, the memorial and museum have stood as a testament to the struggle of African Americans and others to rid this nation of the scourge of slavery and racial bias.

Mayor Vincent Gray and Congresswoman Eleanor Norton are among elected officials and dignitaries who have been invited.

For more information call 202-667-2667.