U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes celebrity guests to the opening of the new National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: A visibly moved President Barack Obama on Friday (September 23) held the opening reception for the new National Museum of African-American culture in Washington, D.C. The museum was established in 2003 but construction didn't begin until 2012. It's collection already features some 37,000 items, and among its exhibits is one on the presidency of Barack Obama, who was sworn in as the country's first African-American president in 2009. Obama told a crowd of celebrities gathered at the White House that the museum opens during troubled times for the nation. The country is being roiled by a new round of racial unrest over the police use of force against black men. Forty-year-old Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina this week was the 214th black person killed by U.S. police this year out of an overall total of 821, according to Mapping Police Violence, another group created out of the protest movement. There is no national-level government data on police shootings. But Obama told the crowd that he believes the museum will help Americans "talk to each other" and, in the end, "recognize our common humanity." Entrance to the museum is free, but thousands of passes to the opening weeks were snapped up within hours of being offered. Many celebrities are expected to attend the opening weekend ceremonies.