NEWS – The Parthenon
The 100 years it took to open the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a topic of discussion for a federal judge when he speaks Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in Marshall University’s Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.Judge Robert L. Wilkins of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will be the first speaker of the spring 2019 season of Marshall’s Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy, a series which will also include lectures on populist authoritarianism, the role of the west in American history and the “problem of democracy.”
During his lecture, entitled “A Journey Down the Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African-American History and Culture,” Wilkins will tell a “surprisingly complicated story,” said Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy and the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy.
“The reason he’s coming to talk with us is because he played a critical role in bringing to fruition the National Museum of African American History and Culture,” Proctor said. “He’s written a book about the fact that, from the time it was proposed to when it opened up in September of 2016, it took 100 years of various obstacles being placed in the way of this museum actually existing and this museum coming into existence.”
Proctor said a lot of “bad” and “discriminatory” things happened in those 100 years, such as Jim Crow laws and lynching’s. She said the United States has had a complicated history of race relations, which Wilkins discusses in his book, and Wilkins sees the museum as something that people can coalesce around and unify around and appreciate its history, putting it in perspective to move forward and make the United States a better place.
“Why should it …