The Smithsonian Institution will officially begin construction Wednesday on a new museum dedicated to African-American culture and heritage — a complex committed to the celebration and study one of the central components of the American story.

The projected Smithsonian Black Museum.

The nation’s first black commander in chief, President Barack Obama, was to deliver remarks at the 10 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

First lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush were also scheduled to attend.

Construction of the Smithsonian’s 19th museum — to be located on the National Mall — is expected to last three years. The museum is slated to open in 2015.

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