The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a Smithsonian Institution museum established in December 2003. The museum's building, designed by David Adjaye, is on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. It has close to 37,000 objects in its collection related to such subjects as community, family, the arts, religion, civil rights, slavery and segregation.|
Early efforts to establish a federally owned museum featuring African American history and culture can be traced to 1915, although the modern push for such an organization did not begin until the 1970s. After years of little success, a much more serious legislative push began in 1988 that led to authorization of the museum in 2003. A site was selected in 2006. The museum opened September 24, 2016, in a ceremony led by U.S. President Barack Obama.
On September 24, 2016, President Barack Obama formally opened the new museum along with the Bonner family who are fourth generation descendants of former slave Elijah B. Odom of Mississipi. Odom obtained freedom by fleeing his owner. Ruth Bonner, Odom's 99-year-old daughter rang a bell with the Obamas dating back to 1880s from First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.