The Buzz

Sam Brownback was key player in move to build African American Museum


Put this one into the plus column for Sam Brownback.

The opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture might never have happened if not for Sam Brownback during his days as a U.S. senator.

The New York Times recently reminded us of Bronwback’s role.

A bill to create the museum was defeated year after year — 15 years altogether.

“Once Congress gives the go ahead for African-Americans,” North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, an opponent, warned in a 1994 speech on the Senate floor, “how can Congress then say no to Hispanics, and the next group, and the next group after that?”

Finally, in 2003, Brownback and other Republicans got on board and the museum proposal finally began to make progress..

“The African-American community has had a particularly difficult road in the United States,” Brownback, who is now governor of Kansas, said in an interview with The Times. “It was time.”