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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

New Nashville museum traces history of Black music across genres

The National Museum of African American Music has opened in Nashville's musical tourism district.
Credit: AP
People walk to the entrance of the National Museum of African American Music, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Unlike other museums that focus on a genre or label, this new museum is the first to span multiple genres including gospel, blues, jazz, R&B and hip hop. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new music museum in Nashville is telling an important and often overlooked story about the roots of American popular music. 

The National Museum of African American Music has opened in Nashville's musical tourism district.

Unlike museums that focus on a genre or label, this museum is touted as the first to span multiple genres including gospel, blues, jazz, R&B and hip-hop. Gospel singer CeCe Winans, who serves as a national chair for the museum, says it was long overdue to honor African American music and the role it has played in America.  The museum has 1,600 artifacts in the collection. Visitors can learn dance moves with a virtual instructor and sing "Oh Happy Day" with a choir.

Scheduled to open in Downtown Nashville Labor Day 2020, the National Museum of African American Music will be a 56,000-square-foot facility that will encourage visitors to discover the central role African Americans have played in shaping and creating all genres of American music.