16 photos to get you hyped for the Smithsonian's new black history museum.

On Sept. 24, 2016, more than 100 years after the idea was conceived, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture will open its doors.

The NMAAHC sits on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., just minutes away from the Washington Monument and the Capitol. It will soon be among the 19 museums and galleries of the Smithsonian Institution.

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.


And though it's a dream decades in the making, like most good dreams, it's worth the wait.

"This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture," NMAAHC founding director Lonnie Bunch III said in a statement. "This is America’s Story and this museum is for all Americans."

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The museum's collection was made possible thanks, in large part, to donated antiques, heirlooms, and treasures from ordinary people.

Curators hosted events across the country encouraging people to go through their homes in search of these rich artifacts that tell the story of African-American history.

From family heirlooms to things long-forgotten in attics and closets, the museum collected close to 40,000 items, just from helpful citizens. Their contributions fill the 400,000-square-foot museum and add character and context to these moving stories.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Visitors to the museum's Slavery and Freedom Gallery will come face to face with legends like Robert Smalls, a slave who stole his master's boat, rescued his family, and sailed to freedom.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

You'll also see symbols of oppression and violence, like these iron shackles.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Or this lash used to punish and intimidate without forgiveness.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Some of the items in the museum are larger than life, like this preserved slave cabin, complete with statue of freed slave turned entrepreneur Clara Brown.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Don't forget to look up or you'll miss this real plane used by the Tuskegee Airmen as they trained for World War II.

I'm guessing they didn't find this in someone's attic.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Guests can even see the dress Rosa Parks was wearing when her act of civil disobedience helped change the course of history.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The role that African-Americans play in shaping popular culture in America cannot be denied. Which is why gold and platinum records from some of the world's most popular artists are on display too.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Not to mention Chuck Berry's iconic red Cadillac.

Chuck Berry's 1973 Cadillac. Photo by Preston Keres/AFP/Getty Images.

It doesn't end there. There's an entire exhibit on black film and African-Americans in Hollywood, complete with props and costumes.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

And were you looking for Carl Lewis' Olympic medals? Say no more.

He's still the only man to win gold in the long jump four Olympics in a row.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

How about a pair of Dr. Ben Carson's scrubs? The NMAAHC has you covered.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

No matter the exhibit, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture is truly a celebration of African-American persistence and achievement.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

And if you can't get to the museum but want to see more, don't worry: Some pieces may be on tour near you.

The museum's traveling exhibition, “Changing America,” has been on display at museums, universities, libraries, and cultural centers across the country since 2014, and it will continue through at least February 2018.

But if you're able to get to Washington, D.C., stop in. Like all of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., admission to the NMAAHC is completely free.

Plus, you'll get to see America like you've never seen it before: through the eyes of the builders, dreamers, fighters, and innovators that made so much of it possible.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Most Shared

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

Most Shared
"Why is Dad So Mad"

Army veteran Seth Kastle had everything going for him when he came home from serving 16 years overseas. That's why it was so confusing to him when his life began to fall apart.

He had a job, a loving wife, family, and friends. He knew things would be different when he moved back to Kansas, but he didn't think they'd be that different. But he felt an extreme anger building up inside, a fire inside his chest that he couldn't explain or get rid of.

Kastle was unknowingly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event — like war.

Keep Reading Show less
Family
True
Verizon

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

Keep Reading Show less
Family

When Lily Evans set out to walk her dog, she had no idea the story of that walk would later go viral on the internet.

When she took to Twitter to recount her experience, she opened with a simple question, one that many men have probably wondered for a long time — though women already know the answer.

(Before you click through to the thread itself, note that Lily's Twitter account is expressly for adults and may be NSFW.)

Keep Reading Show less
More