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Long Road to Hard Truth : The 100 Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture
by Robert L. Wilkins


Overview - In Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100 Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture , Robert L. Wilkins tells the story of how his curiosity about why there wasn't a national museum dedicated to African American history and culture became an obsession-eventually leading him to quit his job as an attorney when his wife was seven months pregnant with their second child, and make it his mission to help the museum become a reality.  Read more...

 
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More About Long Road to Hard Truth by Robert L. Wilkins
 
 
 
Overview
In Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100 Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Robert L. Wilkins tells the story of how his curiosity about why there wasn't a national museum dedicated to African American history and culture became an obsession-eventually leading him to quit his job as an attorney when his wife was seven months pregnant with their second child, and make it his mission to help the museum become a reality. Long Road to Hard Truth chronicles the early history, when staunch advocates sought to create a monument for Black soldiers fifty years after the end of the Civil War and in response to the pervasive indignities of the time, including lynching, Jim Crow segregation, and the slander of the racist film Birth of a Nation. The movement soon evolved to envision creating a national museum, and Wilkins follows the endless obstacles through the decades, culminating in his honor of becoming a member of the Presidential Commission that wrote the plan for creating the museum and how, with support of both Black and White Democrats and Republicans, Congress finally authorized the museum. In September 2016, exactly 100 years after the movement to create it began, the Smithsonian will open the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The book's title is inspired in part by James Baldwin, who testified in Congress in 1968 that "My history... contains the truth about America. It is going to be hard to teach it." Long Road to Hard Truth concludes that this journey took 100 years because many in America are unwilling to confront the history of America's legacy of slavery and discrimination, and that the only reason this museum finally became a reality is that an unlikely, bipartisan coalition of political leaders had the courage and wisdom to declare that America could not, and should not, continue to evade the hard truth.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780997910407
  • ISBN-10: 0997910402
  • Publisher: Proud Legacy Publishing
  • Publish Date: September 2016
  • Page Count: 160
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > African American
Books > Business & Economics > Museum Administration and Museology

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2017-02-13
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this comprehensive yet refreshingly brisk account, Wilkins, a former public defender, relates the drive to establish the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The process spanned decades of pervasive racism, wars and economic crises, and dismissive, hostile, and ineffective Congresses. Its a journey riddled with false starts and full stops, which Wilkins traces from its earliest notionsa 1916 effort to erect a memorial to honor black soldiersto President Obamas speech at the 2012 groundbreaking ceremony. Throughout, Wilkins weaves the personal story of his foolhardy involvement in advocating for a museum dedicated to black history, culture, and contributions in Americas front yard. He peppers the book with little-known history, from the failed government-run Freedmens Bank, which lost and did not reimburse former slaves savings, to the changing designs of and bureaucratic squabbles over the National Mall. The museum also had surprisingly diverse array of proponents, including Mary McLeod Bethune, James Baldwin, John Glenn, George W. Bush, John Lewis, Rick Santorum, and Cecily Tyson. Wilkins occasionally gets bogged down in minutiae, but he delivers a passionate narrative of the struggle to honor and share the complex and powerful stories of African-American people. (BookLife)

 
BAM Customer Reviews