The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture unveiled its latest exhibit, featuring Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a figure whose absence from the museum when it opened a year ago raised eyebrows among conservatives.
According to the Washington Times, Thomas appears as part of an exhibit that was installed just before the museum’s one-year anniversary on Sunday. That exhibit honors Thomas and the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall who are the only two African Americans to ever serve on the nation’s highest court.
Given Thomas’ accomplishments, the Times notes, his apparent absence from the museum prior sparked controversy amongst conservatives who suspected Smithsonian officials of ideological bias and calls for Thomas’ inclusion.
Chief Spokesperson for the Smithsonian Institution Linda St. Thomas told the Times that the museum is “evolving and other things will change over time.”
The exhibit, she noted, includes a picture of Thomas, the 1991 cover of Jet magazine on which he appeared and the inscription “Clarence Thomas: From Seminary School to Supreme Court.”
Nonetheless, the museum is still one of the Smithsonian’s “must-sees,” attracting almost 3 million visitors in just its first year.
“We expected 4,000 people a day,” founding director Lonnie Bunch told The Associated Press, the Times notes. “We get 8,000 people a day, so I can’t complain about a thing.”
In honor of its anniversary, the museum extended its hours last weekend so that more people could enjoy the exhibits.
source: the root