Developing a national museum of African American history focus of public talk

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jennifer Parks, (808) 956-0416
Communications Coordinator, College of Education
Posted: Feb 21, 2018

Lonnie G. Bunch III
Lonnie G. Bunch III

As part of Black History Month, Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, will present the public talk, “Educating a Nation: The Challenge of Building a National Museum,” on February 27, 6–7:30 p.m. in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Art Auditorium. 

The talk will focus on the challenges and process of developing a new national museum devoted to the study and commemoration of African American history and culture. He will provide insights on the importance of race and racism in American history and how to move toward a better future.

Under his leadership, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened seven exhibitions in its gallery in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Bunch curated a vast collection, virtually from scratch, of artifacts drawn from across five countries. He established the program Save Our African American Treasures featuring daylong workshops where participants work with conservation specialists and historians to learn to identify and preserve items of historical value.

“New Smithsonians are rarely built, and only through dogged and skillful effort was Lonnie Bunch able to make this institution a reality. He had to navigate a deeply divided Congress and White House commanded by different parties—all while dealing with some of the most explosive issues in American political life,” said UH Mānoa American Studies Associate Professor Robert Perkinson. 

Bunch’s lecture is part of the College of Education’s 2018 Carl and Alice Daeufer Education Lecture Series. The event is free.

“It is truly a pleasure and honor to have Dr. Lonnie Bunch, a distinguished scholar and author, as the 2018 Carl and Alice Daeufer Lecture Series speaker," said College of Education Dean Nathan Murata. “His work and leadership has had a profound impact on topics ranging from the black military experience to all-black towns in the American West, culminating in the design and construction of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.”

For more information, go to the College of Education website