The groundbreaking for the National Museum of African-American History and Culture took place in Washington Wednesday.
The newest museum of the Smithsonian will document the history of African-Americans through slavery, civil to rights, and to the present.
"This day has been a long time coming," President Obama said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The idea for the museum was first proposed by black Civil War veterans, and years later by the by members of the civil rights generation.
On display will be thousands of artifacts including the plane used to train the Tuskegee Airmen, a hymnal owned by abolitionist Harriet Tubman and a dress worn by civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
Seven floors of displays will showcase the rich cultural heritage to the painful struggles for equality.
The museum was finally approved by an act of Congress in 2003.