2016.09.24 庆祝国家非裔美国人历史和文化博物馆落成开放


Weekly Address: Celebrating the National Museum of African American History and Culture


Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered Weekly Address
The White House
September 24, 2016

Hi everybody. This weekend, we’ll dedicate the newest American icon on our National Mall(华盛顿特区的国家广场) – the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  It’s a beautiful building, five stories high and some 70 feet below the ground, situated just across the street from the Washington Monument.

And this museum tells a story of America that hasn’t always taken a front seat in our national narrative(故事; 叙事;尤指小说中的 记叙).  As a people, we’ve rightfully(公正的;正义的;正直的) passed on(传递,传给下一代) the tales of the giants who built this country.  But too often, willful or not(有意或无意之间), we’ve chosen to gloss over(掩盖,掩饰;给以光滑的表面) or ignore entirely the experience of millions upon millions of others.

But this museum chooses to tell a fuller story.  It’s doesn’t gauze up(纱布捆扎) some bygone era(过去的时代) or avoid uncomfortable truths.  Rather, it embraces the patriotic recognition that America is a constant work in progress; that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is within our collective power(集体力量) to align this nation with the high ideals(崇高理想) of our founding(立国).

That’s what you’ll see inside.  You’ll see it in the shackles(镣铐,桎梏) of an enslaved child and in the hope of Harriet Tubman’s(哈莉特·塔布曼,美国废奴主义者,杰出的黑人废奴主义运动家) gospel(福音书) hymnal(赞美诗集).  You’ll see it in the tragedy of Emmett Till’s(爱默特·路易斯·提尔) coffin and in the resilience of a lunch counter stool(午餐柜台凳) and in the triumph of a Tuskegee(塔斯基吉,美国一城市名) Airplane.  You’ll see it in the shadow of a prison guard tower and in the defiance of Jesse Owens’(杰西·欧文斯) cleats(带钉鞋) and in the American pride of Colin Powell’s(科林·卢瑟·鲍威尔) uniform.

哈莉特·塔布曼( 1822年-1913年3月10日)是一位美国废奴主义者,杰出的黑人废奴主义运动家。她本人就是一个逃跑的奴隶,帮助许多黑奴逃亡,被称为“黑摩西”或“摩西祖母”。美国废奴主义运动的领袖约翰·布朗称她为“塔布曼将军”。美国财政部2016年4月20日宣布,新版20元美钞正面将被印上美国著名废奴主义者哈丽雅特·塔布曼的头像。这意味着塔布曼将成为“亮相”美钞的首名非洲裔美国人和一个世纪以来美钞上出现的首名女性。

爱默特·路易斯·提尔(Emmett Louis Till)(1941年6月-1955年8月)是一名非裔美国人,他在访问密西西比的亲属时与一名21岁的白人女子Carolyn Bryant谈了话,几天后其夫罗伊与其异父母兄弟J. W. Milam一起绑架了提尔并杀死他后抛尸河中,因为他们认为提尔在调戏卡罗琳。此案引起了媒体广泛关注,但是两凶手被无罪释放,之后在双重风险(被释者不得再受审)的保护下他们向杂志表明自己确实杀了提尔。Milam于1980年病死,而罗伊于1985年矢口否认罪行,又说“如果提尔不干出格的事就不会发生那样的事了。”他在隐居中生活,最后1994年死于癌症。提尔一案是美国黑人民权运动兴起的契机之一。

杰西·欧文斯,原名詹姆斯·克利夫兰·欧文斯(James Cleveland Owens)是美国黑人田径明星,短跑运动员。1913年9月12日生于美国南方阿拉巴马州一个棉农之家,黑奴后裔家庭,1980年3月31日卒于亚利桑那州。现代奥运史上最伟大的运动员,被誉为“本世纪最佳田径运动员”。


All of that isn’t simply the African-American story; it’s part of the American story.  And so it is entirely fitting that we tell this story on our National Mall, the same place we tell the stories of Washington and Jefferson and our independence; the story of Lincoln who saved our union and the GIs(美国兵) who defended it; the story of King who summoned us all toward the mountaintop.

That’s what we’ll celebrate not just this weekend, but in the years and generations ahead – a fuller account of our glorious American story.  It’s a chance to reflect on our past and set a course for the future.  Because here in this country, all of us, no matter what our station in life, have the chance to pick up the pen, and write our own chapter for our time.

Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.