It’s been one year since bells rang out throughout the nation to welcome the National Museum of African American History and Culture to the National Mall.
In the 12 months that followed, nearly 3 million visitors have meandered through the museum’s halls, discovering untold stories of the African-American experience and learning more than many history books have to offer.
Visitors are often moved to tears as they read the names of slave ships or gaze upon the shackles that once bound the enslaved. Others smile broadly in front of exhibits that tell stories of happier times.
The experience is often summed up in one word: life-changing.
“I’m sorry I didn’t come down here sooner. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a black man [or] black woman, and I’m going back to tell all those young people they have to come down here and see what their history is about,” visitor Omar Jones said Thursday. He visited D.C. from New York just to see the museum.