June 19 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch III is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch joins Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart for a one-on-one conversation on the legacy of Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S. They will discuss race, recent protests against police brutality, and his role as the first-ever African American Secretary of the Smithsonian. Join Washington Post Live on Friday, June 19 at 9:00 a.m. ET.
  • Jun 19
Highlights
Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch III says Juneteenth, in some ways, is a second Independence Day for America. ‘For many people, Juneteenth raises the fundamental question of the power and impact of freedom and the fragility of freedom. So for me, it’s an opportunity to both look back, but to look ahead to make sure that notion of freedom and the fragility of it is always protected and celebrated.’
  • Jun 19
In 1921, Tulsa, Oklahoma, was the site of one of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history. Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch III talks about the significance of the attack on Tulsa’s all-black Greenwood community that was once known as the Black Wall Street and President Trump’s initial plan to hold a rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth.
  • Jun 19
Quaker Oats announced this week that it will retire the Aunt Jemima brand. When asked what he thinks of brands making changes like this, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch III said it’s ‘too soon to tell if this will last for years and years,’ but he added that he’s optimistic.
  • Jun 19
When asked whether he thinks the relationship between law enforcement and the African-American community can change, Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch III said, ‘I’ve got to believe that change is possible. I think that by looking at the way police chiefs are talking, but more importantly, by looking at the way communities are keeping the pressure on, I think there’s hope for change.’
  • Jun 19
Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch III shares how white Americans can become effective allies to people of color. ‘Educate yourself to the struggle. Understand this history. Understand this moment.’
  • Jun 19
Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch III says once enslaved people in Texas learned they were free, many of them began to search for the family members they had been separated from. He says Juneteenth is not only a day to ‘reflect on slavery,’ but a day to ‘revel in family.’
  • Jun 19
Lonnie G. Bunch III
Secretary of the Smithsonian
Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian. He assumed his position June 16, 2019. As Secretary, he oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers. Previously, Bunch was the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. When he started as director in July 2005, he had one staff member, no collections, no funding and no site for a museum. Driven by optimism, determination and a commitment to build “a place that would make America better,” Bunch transformed a vision into a bold reality. The museum has welcomed more than 6 million visitors since it opened in September 2016 and compiled a collection of 40,000 objects that are housed in the first “green building” on the National Mall. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument, the nearly 400,000-square-foot National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history.
Jonathan Capehart
The Washington Post
About Washington Post Live
Washington Post Live is the newsroom’s live journalism platform. Top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers discuss the most pressing national and global issues of the day.