African American Contributions to the Smithsonian: Challenges and Achievements

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Lonnie Bunch

Lonnie Bunch Historian Lonnie Bunch is the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian’s 19th museum. Growing up with a love of history and a sense that African Americans deserved “a voice,” his education and early career gave him the research, museum, and management experience that allowed him to successfully develop an idea into a successful center for learning about the complex story of African Americans in American life. He first came to the National Air and Space Museum in 1978-79 as an education specialist, taught for several years, and then led the curatorial team for a new African American museum in California. He returned as a curator at the National Museum of American History in 1989, advancing to Associate Director, before leaving in 2001 to direct the Chicago Historical Society. He was named director of the newly legislated museum in 2005 and guided it to completion. He loves museums because objects from the past teach us important lessons, and he has built the first national collection of African American objects and archives.

On the wall of Lonnie Bunch’s office hangs a picture he had discovered while working on Communities in a Changing Nation: The Promise of 19th Century America, an exhibition for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The photo taken in the 1870s is of a once-enslaved African American woman.  She is walking along a road, carrying in one hand a garden hoe “taller than she is.” In the other hand, she is carrying “a large basket used for harvesting corn or potatoes. Her hair is wrapped neatly but her dress is tattered.”  Her knuckles are “swollen” from years of hard labor and though she is clearly exhausted, “there is pride in her posture and she is moving forward despite all she is carrying.”1

When Bunch saw this photo for the first time, he was “unbelievably moved,” not least because the woman reminded him of his own grandmother. As he recalled in a 2010 essay, this anonymous woman became a “touchstone ... whenever I tire of the work or the politics, I look at her and realize that if she could go on, so can I.  Whenever I look to her and I realize that because she did not quit, I have opportunities that she could never imagine.” 2

Additionally, the image of this woman, whose name has been lost to history, is the perfect symbol for a career dedicated to giving “voice to the voiceless” and exploring how “people who didn’t have the fullest access to the American dream persevere[d] and remain[ed] optimistic in the worst of times.” 3

In giving voice to the voiceless, Bunch understood that museums would have to embrace controversy. After all, those voices had been silenced by those past and present who’ve profited from that silence. In the pages of The Public Historian, Bunch laid out this philosophy: "Rather than champion limits on controversy and debate in exhibits, museums and curators must have the courage and vision needed to embrace controversy .... the greatest danger is not from threats to funding sources or pressures from government officials, but from the profession’s willingness to self-censor exhibitions, to smooth the rough edges of history, in order not to offend in this politically charged atmosphere.”4

Throughout his career, these ideas have guided Bunch as he sought to ensure that the African American experience was honestly and fully represented in public depictions of the American past as a curator at the California African-American Museum and the National Museum of American History, as the president of the Chicago Historical Society and as the first director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Childhood

In 1952, Lonnie G. Bunch III was born in Newark, New Jersey, to schoolteachers Lonnie G. Bunch Jr and Montrose Boone-Bunch. Both instilled in him a lifelong quest for education.  Bunch recalled that as a kid, he and his friends would sit together on the front porch and talk about what they would do after they graduated high school. Upon hearing one of these conversations, Bunch’s father pulled him aside and told him, “No, the question is what do you do after you graduate college.”5

This emphasis on the importance of education reflects the influence of Bunch’s paternal grandparents, Lonnie and Leanna Bunch. “Doc” Bunch had been one of the first black dentists in Newark, New Jersey and an important member of the city’s black elite.  However, both Doc and Leanna had started out as sharecroppers near Raleigh, North Carolina, not far from where their enslaved forebears once toiled. Determined that their “hands and minds were made for more than picking cotton,” they worked hard to leave the farm behind. Picking cotton by day and attending Shaw College by night, Doc earned his B.A. in 1910. Six years later, Doc graduated from Howard University’s College of Dentistry.6 Doc’s medical practice gave the Bunches enough financial security to fund the college educations of their children and grandchildren.7

Bunch remembered his grandmother, Leanna, as a “strong woman who imposed her will on all who came into contact with her.” As family lore had it, she was also imperturbable in the face of danger. Walking home from the market, Leanna was once accosted by several hooded Klansman. Instead of running, she calmly reached into her grocery bag and pulled out a shotgun. The Klansmen “almost broke their necks running away.”8 Though willing to defend herself with violence if needed, Leanna was careful to teach her grandson how to “handle the challenges of race in America.” She emphasized proper dress and good manners so that young Lonnie would not fit racist stereotypes about “rowdy, unkempt, undereducated blacks.” She also warned him to avoid getting into street fights, a difficult thing to do as the only black student in his elementary school. As Bunch recalled in 2010, his grandmother told him “to turn the other check – unless they called me a nigger. If that happened, ... I was to fight and it did not matter how many were against me ... if that word was used, it was better to lose the fight than run from the challenge.”9

While his grandmother taught him that “to confront evil” sometimes one had to fight “regardless of the consequences,” his grandfather was the one who showed how necessary it was to fight that evil in the past as well.10 When Bunch was four years old, Doc would read history books to him. In one of these books was a picture of a nineteenth century classroom filled with children that were roughly Bunch’s age. His grandfather told him that the picture was so old that these children were all probably dead.  Bunch recalled “trying to understand how these young faces could no longer be living.”  His grandfather read the caption: “unidentified school children” and commented on what a shame it was “that people can live their lives, die, and simply be forgotten?” Those words stuck with him the rest of his life and, though he would only be able to articulate this much later in life;

"from that instant” Bunch made it his “career to give voice to the voiceless and make visible the invisible.” 11

Bunch began this career with three post-secondary degrees from American University: a B.A. in 1974, an M.A. in 1976, followed by additional graduate work focusing on both American and African American history. Bunch’s love for history was driven by his desire to unearth the stories of these anonymous people, to discover “were they happy, were they sad, and did they have a good life?”  However, his studies were driven as much by a sense of curiosity and wonder about his past as they were a desire to make sense of the racism he’d already experienced in his life as a young black man growing up “in a town that was overwhelmingly Italian.” As he later recalled, “I used to fight a lot, used to run a lot, and I wanted to understand why some people hated and some people didn’t.”12

Early Career

Lonnie Bunch first started working in museums while finishing his coursework at American University.  Working as an Education Specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, he designed museum programs that supplement traditional public education, directed multi-cultural education programs, as well as researching and writing the history of African Americans in aviation. While he enjoyed the work, Bunch’s first stint at the Smithsonian did not last long. 

In 1979, he left Washington, DC to begin his academic career as an assistant professor of American and Afro-American history at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Two years later, he moved to Brooklyn to take a position teaching history at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn.14  After four years of teaching, Bunch “realized that there was something about museums that captured” him. Though he loved being a teacher, he came to realize that “history was too important to be left just in the hands of historians.” Though recently married and about to have his first daughter, he and his wife, Maria Marable Bunch, took a leap of faith. In 1983, leaving his academic career behind, Bunch seized the opportunity to become the curator of the new California African American Museum (CAAM), one of the first museums in California explicitly dedicated to the black experience. 

With the opportunity to make his work accessible to “millions” and “not just to scholars,” he spent the next six years designing several award-winning exhibits. Among them, it was The Black Olympians, 1904-1984 that secured Bunch’s reputation as a curator. The was the first large curatorial project that Bunch worked on and was slated to be the inaugural exhibit for the museum’s new building, which opened its doors to coincide with the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.15

Having finished at American University before the school established its well-regarded public history program, Bunch lacked formal training in museum studies. This however was not a limitation, since it encouraged imaginative approaches to installing museum exhibits. Reflecting on his time at the CAAM in a 2006 interview, Bunch recalled that “I never let my ignorance stop me, so I would just kind of talk to people and they’d come with good ideas and I said, ‘Let’s try to do it.’ I didn’t know whether we could or not.” 16  This is where he got the idea of installing the exact same track that Olympians had run on in during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles as a device for pulling together the entire exhibit. Visitors could actually walk on the same track on which African American track star Carl Lewis had won four gold medals. It was this masterstroke that marked Bunch as a rising star in the museum world. 

His years in Los Angeles also taught Bunch the skills necessary to build the sorts of relationships with state, local and federal governments crucial to securing the political and financial support necessary for the success of many African American museums.17 However, it also taught him some of the limitations faced by museums that focused exclusively on the black experience. Reflecting in 1993 on his work in Los Angeles, Bunch argued that so-called “ethnic museums” like the CAAM were important to the extent that they could be “rigorous scholarly vehicles with educational mandates and yet still be an active advocate of community uplift.” However, he also cautioned that these museums must not evolve into underfunded “separate but equal” institutions that allow other museums to avoid “grappling with issues of diversity.” The existence of an African American history museum must not provide the excuse for other institutions to leave the dominant narratives of American history unchallenged and unchanged.18

Bunch Returns to the Smithsonian

Bunch’s groundbreaking work at CAAM attracted the attention of Roger Kennedy, the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Kennedy invited Bunch to return to the Smithsonian in 1989 to serve as supervising curator in the Division of Community Life. Though initially reluctant, Kennedy pressed him to accept, saying to Bunch, “You’ve got a vision, and you deserve to have that vision painted on the broadest canvas in the world, and there’s no bigger canvas than the Smithsonian.” 19

The picture Bunch would paint would profoundly expand the work of his predecessors – people such as Malcolm Watkins, John KinardKeith Melder, and Spencer Crew – in adding color to a picture of the American past that mid-century curators once tried to whitewash.20 He made it a priority to significantly broaden and display the museum’s collection of African American artifacts.21  As the supervisory curator of the permanent exhibition Land of Promise: America in the 19th Century, he included a section on African American communities, ensuring that the voices of the voiceless would echo in the marble halls of the Smithsonian.22

Within three years of his return to the Smithsonian, Bunch had won promotion to the position of Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and two years later he became Associate Director.23  During these years, Bunch worked on a wide variety of projects. Two in particular are notable for demonstrating Bunch’s commitment to using African American history to complicate the traditional narratives of American progress.    

In 1993, executives from the Woolworth Corporation announced plans to close nearly 1,000 department stores across the country. Among the stores slated for closure was the location in Greensboro, North Carolina, the site of one of the civil rights movement’s pivotal moments. Working alongside museum specialist William Yeingst, Bunch convinced the company to donate the 8-foot section of counter and the four stools where on 1 February 1960, four students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University staged a sit-in protest against Woolworth’s support for segregation.24 The four students were aware that Woolworth’s would not serve them at the whites-only counter; nevertheless, they sat anyway in order to create a disruption that would force Woolworth’s to desegregate its southern stores. Within a month, the sit-in movement had expanded across the nation. By the end of 1960 more than 70,000 young men and women had faced arrest and braved violence to successfully desegregate lunch counters, parks, libraries, hotels, beaches across the South.

Woolworth lunch counter from Greensboro, NC.

 

The Greensboro Woolworth’s lunch counter held special meaning for Bunch. As a young boy in New Jersey, Bunch would visit the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Newark for twenty-cent hamburgers after going shopping with his mother. It was a real treat. Then, when Bunch was seven years old, he visited Greensboro, North Carolina, to visit some relatives. As he recalled in a 2006 interview: "I was walking with my aunt ... and suddenly I saw the Woolworth’s. Well, I did what I always did, I made a beeline for the lunch counter, and I ran in and I sat down, and suddenly these white hands picked me up and moved me over to the colored section, which was the standing section. I remember just being stunned by that and being told ... ‘This is where you have to be.’ I remember they brought me a hamburger, and ... it tasted awful ... I’ve never forgotten how and what that meant to me."25

The courage of those four young students who sat in in 1960 turned a site of shame and humiliation into an icon of the black freedom struggle. To collect it and put in the Smithsonian ensured its place in the narrative of American history. 

As Bunch was negotiating the acquisition of the Greensboro lunch counter, he also served as project director for The Smithsonian’s America. Three years in the making, the traveling exhibition gathered more than 300 objects from the collections of both the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum for a two month show in Chiba, Japan during the summer of 1994.26 Under Bunch’s direction, Smithsonian’s America emphasized that the “essence of American history and culture” was “cultural diversity,” one of America’s “greatest strengths.” Avoiding a merely celebratory display of American history, the exhibition made room for “admitting mistakes” where necessary and “explaining what’s been done to come to grips” with those mistakes.27<

'Smithsonian's America' Exhibit Team This emphasis on presenting a more complex vision of American progress made the Japan exhibition the intellectual grandchild of the Smithsonian’s landmark American Bicentennial exhibition, A Nation of Nations. That exhibit represented a sea-change in the Smithsonian’s willingness to wrestle with the as-yet unreconciled conflicts over America’s legacy of slavery and racism. Indeed, a good number of the objects on display in Japan were originally collected as part of the Bicentennial exhibit.28 Bunch’s direction of the Japan project was rewarded with a promotion to Associate Director and ensured that these efforts would continue to find a home at the Smithsonian. 

The Chicago Historical Society

During his last year at the National Museum of American History, Bunch co-curated The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden alongside Spencer Crew and Harry Rubenstein.29 In just eight months, Bunch and his team assembled more than 900 objects covering 9,000 square feet of exhibition space in time for the 2000 presidential election. Traditionally, an exhibit this size would have taken years to pull together, but Bunch’s commitment and energy were both inspiring and infectious. As the exhibit opened, he declared that “despite the pressure, this is the Smithsonian at its best ... People have put in more time than imaginable.  We can do the impossible.” 30

Bunch’s work with The American Presidency led to an offer from the Chicago Historical Society which invited him to become their next president in 2001.31 During his years at the Chicago Historical Society, Bunch led a successful fundraising effort to both renovate the physical home of the museum and to transform the relationship of the Chicago Historical Society to the broader Chicago community.32 As the first person of color to be chosen to lead the museum, Bunch was hired to help bridge the cultural gap between the CHS and an incredibly diverse city. In order to help the museum reflect the history of its host city, Bunch launched an “unprecedented outreach initiative” to Chicago’s communities of color, the centerpiece of which was a widely heralded exhibition on teenage life called the Teen Chicago Project.33 In order to attract a new (and much more diverse) generation of museum visitors, Teen Chicago enlisted teenagers to conduct oral history interviews and collect artifacts from older members of their communities in order to document “what it meant to be a teenager during each decade of the 20th century.” Among those interviewed included famed oral historian Studs Terkel and hip-hop artist Kanye West. These efforts formed the basis of an award-winning exhibition and helped transform a long-venerated Chicago Historical Society into a much-visited Chicago History Museum.34

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

When he was approached by the Smithsonian to direct the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2005, Bunch was once again reluctant to return. He was very happy in Chicago and was looking forward to the reopening of the Chicago Historical Society with “a lot of the plans [he] had put in place.” 35 His résumé offers every indication of Bunch’s desire to settle permanently in the Windy City. Besides his work with the Chicago Historical Society, he worked with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, had become a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and won election to the board of the Jane Addams Juvenile Court. His wife’s professional life was also thriving as the Associate Director of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago.36

Nonetheless, his years in Chicago taught him everything he needed to know to prepare him to lead the team that would open the first national museum of African American history. In Bunch’s own words, his leadership of the Chicago History Museum taught him “how to lead” and how “to be an effective fundraiser” and gave him the opportunity to “put his ideas to the test.”  

Most importantly, though his work in Chicago made him very happy and “nurtured [his] soul,” Bunch explained that the Smithsonian’s new museum “nurture[d] the soul of [his] ancestors.”37

 

Lorraine Hansberry, c. 1960, by David Attie Even before the museum had a physical location, Bunch launched a series of high-profile traveling exhibitions to generate support for the museum; the influence of his philosophy can be seen in its inaugural exhibition. Let Your Motto Be Resistance opened at New York City’s International Gallery of Photography in June of 2007, nearly a full decade before the museum would have its own building on the National Mall. The exhibition featured 100 photographs of famous African Americans taken over a span of 150 years and drawn from the holdings of the National Portrait Gallery.38 Asked about how these photographs were chosen, Bunch explained, “as we examined the photographs that comprise this exhibition it was clear that they revealed, reflected, and illuminated, the variety of creative and courageous ways that African Americans resisted, accommodated, redefined and struggled in an America that needed but rarely embraced and accepted its black citizens.” 39 By using the inaugural exhibit to highlight the tension and distance between American and African American history, Bunch would conceive of the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a bridge across that chasm. 

The directorship of the new museum has also given Bunch the power to address several longstanding concerns over the representation of African Americans at the Smithsonian. Even when serving as Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of American History in the 1990s, he was limited in his ability to bring black history into the exhibits, facing a similar challenge as the one that faced his predecessors who also sought to diversify the representations of the American past at the Smithsonian. When he returned to the Smithsonian, the NMAH and its predecessors had been collecting for over a century. However, these collections reflected the individual interests of past curators, few of whom were interested in the African American experience until the 1960s. As the head of the NMAHHC, Bunch and his team finally had the resources to collect the artifacts of African American history and culture in a systematic and comprehensive manner.40

Just as significant is the opportunity to hire people of color into senior level administrative and curatorial positions for the new museum.41  Echoing the concerns of John Kinard, the founder of the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, Bunch has long argued that;

“if museums are to be welcoming places for people of different racial, ethnic, social, economic, and educational backgrounds, and if ... their collections [are] to present a variety of perspectives, they must recruit ... staff who reflect” those diverse perspectives.42

Finally, and most importantly, the possibility of establishing an African American museum located on the National Mall in Washington DC represented the culmination of a philosophy of museum work that Bunch had been developing his entire life. Rather than offer a representation of the black past that offers a “separate but equal” experience for visitors, the very location of this museum on sacred space of the National Mall holds up a wonderful but unforgiving mirror that reminds us of America’s ideals and promises. It is a mirror that makes those who are often invisible, more visible, and it gives voice to many who are often overlooked. It is a mirror that challenges us to be better and to work to make our community and country better. But it is also a mirror that allows us to see our commonalities. It is a mirror that allows us to celebrate and to revel but also demands that we all struggle, that we all continue to ‘fight the good fight.’ 43

As Bunch put it, the museum’s physical location in Washington DC is on Constitution Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, but its historical location is at "Constitution and the intersection of the 14th and 15th Amendment. Where else should it be but right there?”44

Related Resources

"The Fire This Time: Race, Memory, and the Museum," Lonnie Bunch. Congressional Record (Bound Volumes), Part 7

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FOOTNOTES

1Lonnie G. Bunch III, Call the Lost Dream Back: Essays on History, Race and Museums (Washington DC: The AAM Press, 2010), 27. Return to text

2 Ibid., 27; Smithsonian Institution Archives (hereafter SIA) , Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee. Return to text

3SIA, Accession 05-298, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, The Torch, No. 00-12 (Dec 2000), 5. Brenda Kean Tabor, “Lonnie Bunch gives voice to anonymous Americans of the past.”Return to text

4 Lonnie Bunch, “Embracing Controversy: Museum Exhibitions and the Politics of Change,” The Public Historian, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer, 1992), 64. Return to text

5 SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee. Return to text

6 Bunch, Call the Lost Dream Back, 19; SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee. Return to text

7 Kimberly Robinson, “Lonnie Bunch Interview Background Paper AAM Interview Project,” 1. Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text

8 Bunch, Call the Lost Dream Back, 19-20. Return to text

9 Ibid., 21. Return to text

10 Ibid. Return to text

11Ibid., 21-22; Tabor, 5. Return to text

12 SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 3.  Return to text

13 Resume, “Lonnie G. Bunch III.” Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text 

14 “Lonnie G. Bunch: Chronology.” Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text

15SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 4; SIA, Accession 05-298, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, The Torch, No. 05-04 (April 2005), 1,3. “Lonnie Bunch returns to direct African American Museum.”Return to text

16 SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch,III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 7. Return to text

17 Robinson, “Lonnie Bunch Interview Background Paper,” 3. Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text  

18 Lonnie G. Bunch, “More than Knott’s Berry Farm: Museums and Southern California,” The Public Historian, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Spring, 1993), 164-65. Return to text

19SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 9; “Lonnie G. Bunch: Chronology.” Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA; Robinson, “Lonnie Bunch Interview Background Paper,” 5. Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text

20 Michèle Gates-Moresi, “Exhibiting Race, Creating Nation: Representations of Black History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, 1895-1976” (Ph.D. diss, George Washington University, 2003), 115-117.  Return to text

21 Robinson, “Lonnie Bunch Interview Background Paper,” 4. Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text

22Ibid., 5. Return to text

23 “Lonnie G. Bunch: Chronology.” Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text

24SIA, Accession 05-298, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, The Torch, No. 94-5 (May 1994), 1,4. Susan Foster, “MAH receives historical lunch counter.”Return to text

25 SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee. Return to text

26“Lonnie G. Bunch, III, Director.” Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA; SIA, Accession 05-298, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, The Torch, No. 94-7 (July, 1994), 1,3. Vicki Moeser, “Smithsonian in Japan.”Return to text

27 Moeser, 1,3. Return to text

28 Ibid.; Peter C. Marzio, ed., A Nation of Nations: The People Who Came to America as Seen Through Objects, Prints, and Photographs at the Smithsonian Institution (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1976). Return to text

29SIA, Accession 05-298, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, The Torch, No 00-11 (Nov 2000), 1,8. Adrienne Durand, “’Presidency’ show opens Nov. 15.”Return to text

30 Ibid. Return to text

31 Tabor, 5. Return to text

32 Robinson, “Lonnie Bunch Interview Background Paper,” 7-8. Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text

33SIA, Accession 05-298, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, The Torch, No. 05-04 (April 2005), 1,3. “Lonnie Bunch returns to direct African American Museum.”; Robinson, “Lonnie Bunch Interview Background Paper,” 7.  Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA.Return to text

34 Finding Aid. Teen Chicago Oral History Project Records, 2001-2004. Chicago History Museum.  http://chsmedia.org/media/fa/fa/M-C/Teen.htm. Accessed 18 April 2016; SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 16-17. Return to text

35 SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 17. Return to text

36 “Lonnie G. Bunch: Chronology.” Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA; Robinson, “Lonnie Bunch Interview Background Paper,” 8. Lonnie G. Bunch Research File. SIA. Return to text

37 SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 18. Return to text

38SIA, Accession 05-298, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Public Affairs, The Torch, No. 07-06 (June 2007), 1-2. Mara Jonas, “African American History and Culture Museum debuts with ‘Let Your Motto Be Resistance’.”Return to text

39 Ibid. Return to text

40 SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 13-14. Return to text

41 Ibid., 14. Return to text

42 Lonnie Bunch, “Flies in the Buttermilk: Museums, Diversity, & the Will to Change,” Museum News, Vol. 79, No. 4 (July/August 2000), 33. Return to text

43 Lonnie Bunch, “The Fire This Time: Race, Memory and the Museum,” Museum News, Vol. 84, No. 6 (Nov/Dec 2005), 53. Return to text

44 SIA, Record Unit 9620, American Association of Museums Centennial Interviews, Interview 3, April 24, 2006, Bunch, III, Lonnie G. Interviewee, 19. Return to text