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H. Beecher Hicks III details plans for national museum celebrating Black music

How did the museum earn the tagline “One Nation Under a Groove”?

My staff and I were talking through different iconic songs and what they meant, and [someone] said, “You know, ‘One Nation Under a Groove’ really speaks to who we are.” We all dropped our pencils and said you’re absolutely right. We really are trying to bring people together, not just African Americans or African American artists, but really people from all walks of life.

The museum will feature six permanent galleries and one rotating gallery.  Tell us more about them.

We tell the story of how the forms of American music are all connected. The central spine of the museum is what we call the Rivers of Rhythm. It’s intended to show the ebb and the flow of American music and how it all connects. For the other five permanent galleries, we decided to name them after songs. Those songs are intended to give you a sense of time, place and even a sense of genre. They are called Wade in the Water, Crossroads, a Love Supreme, One Nation Under a Groove, and The Message.

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