'America I Am' is the 'biggest, baddest and boldest,' according to founder Tavis Smiley

CINCINNATI - Tavis Smiley, a nationally known broadcaster and author,presented the America I AM: The African American Imprint, exhibitFriday, June 18 at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

The America I AM exhibit, is a four-year, 10-city, tour thatcelebrates the imprint of African American contributions to theworld. It features 250 rare artifacts that will most likely neverbe seen together again. The exhibit highlights 500 years of AfricanAmerican achievements and accomplishments.

The night opened with words from the president of the CincinnatiMuseum Center, Doug McDonald. He explained that the tour hadbeen to Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. “I’mjust happy something like this is finally back inCincinnati,” he said with a smile.

As the night progressed, Frances Strickland, Ohio’s firstlady, was called to the stage to introduce Tavis Smiley. She calledSmiley "amazing" for his vision and for bringing it toCincinnati. She called Smiley to the stage as the crowd gave him astanding ovation.

Smiley explained how phenomenal and creative this exhibit is.“This is the biggest, the baddest, and the boldest exhibitever,” he said proudly. “There would be no Americawithout Negro people. Extract jazz, music, peanut butter…andthere would be no America. This exhibit does not just celebrateblack history, but history itself,” he said to a cheeringcrowd.

Smiley thanked Dr. John Fleming who was the exhibit’scurator and executive producer, and Mark Lach, of Arts&Exhibitions International, who design the exhibit. He alsothanked the title sponsor, Walmart, for donating $2 million.

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