How Black folks win when they collaborate and set their own narrative

WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA - October 26, 2010. Denzel Washington and Pauletta Washington at the Los Angeles premiere of "Unstoppable" held at the Westwood Village Theater, Los Angeles. Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com
WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA – October 26, 2010. Denzel Washington and Pauletta Washington at the Los Angeles premiere of “Unstoppable” held at the Westwood Village Theater, Los Angeles. Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

Denzel and Pauletta Washington held an event at their Los Angeles home dedicated to those who donated to the new Smithsonian museum dedicated to Black history, and helped raise over $10 million.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a $540 million developing project scheduled to open on Sept. 24. Congress has donated $270 million to the museum and $252 million has been raised from private donors. Some of that money was contributed by a couple big Hollywood names who were at the Washingtons’ house gathering. Among those in attendance were Magic Johnson, Quincy Jones and representatives of various foundations and corporations. George Lucas and wife Mellody Hobson and Samuel L. Jackson also donated, although they were unable to attend the event.


NMAAHC founding director Lonnie Bunch described the environment as “a joyous Californian atmosphere” on a nice spring evening by the pool.

“There were a lot of people who would fall under the radar, names you don’t know,” Bunch told the Washington Post. “But it was really a chance to thank those folks who have given, and to get them excited. Magic Johnson gets excited, he can talk to other folks.”


The museum will be on a five-acre piece of land adjacent to the Washington Monument, located between 15th and 14th Streets. It will feature 11 inaugural exhibitions on various aspects of African American culture, such as music, entertainment, sports, slavery, segregation and civil rights.

According to Bunch, many gifts have already been donated to the museum, including one from the Washingtons, but no further information will be revealed until all the paperwork is complete.

“All I can say now is we surpassed our goal of $10 million,” he said.

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