Kevin Young has been appointed Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture


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Writer Kevin Young has been named the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC “After I visited the museum myself with my family, I know how powerful a place it is, transforming visitors in person and online, and revealing the centrality of African American culture to the American experience,” Young says.

Alan Karashmir / National Museum of African American History and Culture


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Writer Kevin Young has been named the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC “After I visited the museum myself with my family, I know how powerful a place it is, transforming visitors in person and online, and revealing the centrality of African American culture to the American experience,” Young says.

Alan Karashmir / National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian declared that poet Kevin Young He will be the next director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. With more than 37,000 objects, NMAAHC in Washington, DC is the largest dedicated African American Experience Center in the country. Young succeeds the museum’s founding director, Lonnie J Bunch III, who was appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 2019.

Young is currently a manager Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture In New York City, where he oversaw high-profile acquisitions such as the Harry Belafonte, James Baldwin, Ruby Dee and Fred “Fab 5 Freddy” Archives in Harlem. Among Jung’s published works are 11 Books Including hair Jelly Roll: Blues Who was one of the finalists for the National Book Award. Currently, he works as a hair editor at The New Yorker.

The opening of the Smithsonian’s first national museum dedicated to the history and culture of African Americans was a massive, multi-year endeavor. Under Bunch’s leadership, the museum has raised $ 453 million, and since its opening in September 2016, it has attracted more than five and a half million visitors.

Can a poet deal with this kind of dedication to flirt with donors, let alone the administrative bureaucracy? According to the Smithsonian Institution, during Young’s four years at the Scheomburg Center, he raised $ 10 million in grants and donations and increased attendance by 40 percent.

“Kevin will present an exciting combination of scholarship, technological intelligence and a bold vision that builds on the foundational work of the many people who built the museum,” Minister Bunch says in a statement. “As a poet, he understands how the museum fulfilled the dreams of many Americans, and under his leadership the museum will shape the hopes of future generations.”

Poet Kevin Young speaks during a celebration of the life of Tony Morrison on November 21, 2019, in New York.

Mary Altafir / AP


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Poet Kevin Young speaks during a celebration of the life of Tony Morrison on November 21, 2019, in New York.

Mary Altafir / AP

The artifacts in NMAAHC’s extensive collection span several generations of African American history and culture: a cabin that housed enslaved people on Edesto Island, SC, the shawl and hymn of Harriet Tubman and Emmett Till’s casket.

In a statement, Young said he looked forward to leading the museum. “After visiting the museum myself with my family, I realized how powerful this museum is, transforming visitors in person and online, revealing the centrality of African American culture in the American experience. I am keen to engage in other directions in the museum’s mission, embracing our digital present and our future while promoting conversations. On black history, art, liberation and joy. “


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