Speaking at Saturday's dedication ceremony, Obama said the Smithsonian's new National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, DC will give people a better understanding of the past and provide context "for the debates of our time."
"This national museum helps to tell a richer and fuller story of who we are," he said.
He says knowing their stories will help Americans understand each other better.
One of those heroes? Rep. John Lewis, famous for #GoodTrouble
Lewis marched side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.
President Obama had some powerful words in his opening remarks.
The Obamas rung the bell with the Bonner family--descendants of slaves.
The Freedom Bell was acquired in 1886 by the historic First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.
That church is believed to be among the first Baptist churches organized entirely by African-Americans for African-Americans.
It will be returned to the church for its 240th anniversary later this year.
At the opening, President Obama was joined by former President George W. Bush, who signed the legislation allowing constructing of the museum to move forward.
It was the hug seen 'round the world.
Anyone who wants to visit the museum will need a timed pass for the months of October and November. The timed passes are free, but being implemented because museum officials expect a high level of interest.
The museum has a list of things to know if you're planning on visiting this weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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