At today's groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, speakers included President Obama, the museum's director, the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and former first lady Laura Bush. In comments about the impact he hopes the museum will have, President Obama said, "At moments like this, I think about my daughters … When our children look at Harriet Tubman's shawl or Nat Turner’s Bible … I don't want them to be seen as figures somehow larger them life; I want them to see how ordinary Americans can do extraordinary things."

He also pointed out that a new national black history museum will help future generations remember the sometimes difficult, often inspirational role that African Americans have played in the nation's history.

Watch the video, courtesy of C-SPAN.

See this walk-through of the museum's collection with the founding director, Lonnie Bunche.

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Read more at the Washington Post and C-SPAN and read The Root's interview with the museum curator.

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