RVA represented at Museum of African American History and Cultur - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

RVA represented at Museum of African American History and Culture

Maggie Walker section at NMAAHC (Source: NBC12) Maggie Walker section at NMAAHC (Source: NBC12)
Arthur Ashe section at NMAAHC (Source: NBC12) Arthur Ashe section at NMAAHC (Source: NBC12)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) -

What's cool about the museum is it celebrates the art, life, and history of some of the most influential black leaders - including many from our area.

From sports to business and civil rights, RVA is in the mix.

Along Constitution Avenue, just across from the Washington Monument, sits the latest addition to the National Mall: the Museum of African American History and Culture.

"I think it's awesome," said Laverne Williams. "It's overpowering. It's overwhelming. It's so much to see."

Williams got a sneak peek inside the 400,000 square foot facility.

"It shows us who actually planted the trees so we can enjoy the shade."

This all before it officially opens to the public.

"Because my husband sang with the Dixie Hummingbirds." 

As a matter of fact, the group's Grammy is on display in the museum. Her husband, Rev. Joseph Williams, is now here with the likes of BB King.

Just steps away from the man who shook up the world - Muhammad Ali - is Richmond's own Maggie Walker with an entire exhibit.

"She was just very much a powerhouse and a significant person that we simply can't forget," said curator Michele Gates Moresi.

You can read all about Maggie Walker and the independent order of St. Luke in the "Making a way out of no way" gallery.

"They created their own businesses, and they had to look out for themselves. That's how they made a way," said Moresi. "She made sure there was a bank where they could borrow and you could deposit and you could withdraw from because those were the challenges in Richmond."

There are countless game changers here inside this sprawling museum that boasts more 3,000 artifacts. The Sports Gallery is especially impressive - it chronicles the contributions of athletes on and off the field.

Richmond is still represented well in the sports section. Michael Jordan's jersey is just steps away from the section for Arthur Ashe.

"It's so wonderful," said Williams.

Williams is awestruck by the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history, and culture.

"It should have been here years ago, and now we have it. So we have to support it," said Williams.

After all, it took an act of Congress and more than $300 million in private donations to make this stunning structure a reality.

They have about 200 employees and interns here to make sure you have a good experience.

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