U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn released the following statement on today's groundbreaking ceremony for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
"As a former public school history teacher in Charleston, South Carolina and as a lifelong student of history, I have always worked to improve understanding about the past. History frames our views on current events and informs our knowledge as to how choices we make today will impact the future.
"This Museum on the National Mall will provide people of all backgrounds the opportunity to benefit from learning these important lessons. I often told my students in the classroom, and I still tell students I meet in South Carolina and in Washington: study history so mistakes of the past are not repeated and we can draw strength and courage to do justice to the legacy of those who gave so much to secure the blessings of liberty and justice for all.
"As we celebrate this historic day and look forward to the knowledge that will spring from this ground, we must also work to address the remaining challenges of persistent poverty and the burgeoning wealth gap in this country. As we learn from the past, we must work to create a better future for people of all races, backgrounds, and experiences."