Smithsonian on Why Clarence Thomas is Not Featured In New African American Museum: ‘We Cannot Tell Every Story’

Justice Clarence Thomas (AP Photo)
Justice Clarence Thomas (AP Photo)

The new Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s tagline is “powerful moments in African American history, culture, and community.” However, the museum – with a $540 million price tag funded 50 percent by U.S. taxpayers and with a collection of more than 36,000 artifacts and 100,000 people represented – doesn’t include many prominent blacks, including Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Edward Brooke, a Republican who became the first African American to be elected to the U.S. Senate by popular vote in 1966.

After touring the new museum and exploring the website, which contains information on all the exhibitions in it, CNSNews.com asked the Smithsonian why Thomas, Brooke and eight other prominent men and women are not included in the museum.

CNSNews.com asked: “Many prominent African Americans are not included in the museum, most notably Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas … Can [the institute say] why Thomas and the others listed below are not a part of the museum exhibits?”

Linda St. Thomas, chief spokesperson for the Smithsonian, replied:

“There are many compelling personal stories about African Americans who have become successful in various fields, and, obviously, Associate Justice Thomas is one of them,” St. Thomas said in an email. “However, we cannot tell every story in our inaugural exhibitions.

“We will continue to collect and interpret the breadth of the African American experience,” St. Thomas said.

The other African Americans not included in the museum, who are conservatives, are:

• Cora Brown, first African American woman elected to a United States state Senate, winning a seat in the Michigan State Senate in 1952.

• Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., who served in the Georgia state legislature and is a pro-life advocate with Priests for Life.

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SOURCE: CNS News – Penny Starr