Kirsten Mullen

Kirsten Mullen is a folklorist and arts consultant and the founding president of Artefactual.

Recent Articles

Black Culture and History Matter

It took 150 years after America officially abolished slavery to get a national museum on the black experience.

(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik)
This article appears in the Winter 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The new National Museum of African American History and Culture occupies a prominent space on the National Mall, between the National Museum of American History at 14th Street NW and the base of the Washington Monument. When the new museum opens in September 2016, it will be America’s first national museum dedicated to the full breadth of the black experience, and the largest in terms of size, scope, aspirations, capacity, and budget. Seen from the corner of 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, the 380,000-square-foot structure, a striking sculptural bronze-colored edifice in a sea of white Indiana limestone government buildings, blocks the view of the Washington Monument—as if to declare, Before you celebrate America’s founding president, pause to reflect on the Republic’s great omission. The fact that it took more than 150 years after Emancipation for this museum...