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National Museum of African American History

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Designed by David Adjaye, this pleasing geometrical building opened in 2016 when President Barack Obama officiated the ceremony. This is more than a museum - it is part of a long standing effort that goes back almost a century to provide Americans with a federally-funded museum dedicated to African-Americans. Maintained by the Smithsonian, this museum tells the story of the intrinsic contributions of African-Americans - from the time of slavery to the modern era. The belongings of people such as Harriet Tubman and James Brown are placed next to artifacts such as Jim Crow-era signs. Simultaneously unsettling and engrossing, this museum is a stark glimpse into the uglier parts of the American experience.