Smithsonian leader chronicles National Museum of African American History and Culture


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Smithsonian Institution’s newly appointed secretary, Lonnie Bunch, will speak Sept. 26 at the University of Louisville about his work as founding director of the Smithsonian’s newest addition, the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

    Bunch’s free, public talk about “A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture” will begin at 4 p.m. in 100 Bingham Humanities Building. The talk is the 2019 Global Humanities Lecture, organized by the College of Arts and Sciences’ comparative humanities department and Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society.

    Bunch will talk about the Washington, D.C., museum’s relevance since its 2016 opening and the implications of the African American historical experience for the United States. He will discuss the museum’s impact on a national dialogue about race, discrimination, inclusion and reconciliation.

    In June, Bunch became the Smithsonian Institution’s 14th secretary, overseeing 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo and several research and education centers. September kicks off his national book tour for “A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama and Trump.”

    In 2005, the year he was appointed to head the new museum, the American Association of Museums named Bunch one of the 100 most influential museum professionals.

    Bunch previously had been Chicago Historical Society president and had worked in several positions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. He also had been history curator and program manager for the California Afro-American Museum in Los Angeles. He has produced several history documentaries for public television, taught at several universities and lectured around the globe.

    For more information, contact Brandon Harwood at 502-852-8977 or


    EDITORS: Bunch’s photo is attached.

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.