Get the right group of Hollywood players in one room and you can do some pretty amazing things. Denzel Washington is one of those people who has the clout and the means to make big things happen for Black communities. And, a recent fundraising party – which led to his helping the Smithsonian African American Museum – is just a real-life example of what that philanthropic spirit in Black Hollywood looks like.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is set up to open up later this year. But before that can happen, the appropriate funds need to be raised – $540 million, according to the Root. The government has contributed $270 million, but the rest will likely have to come from donors. Which is where Washington and his wife Pauletta come into play. 

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On the same night as the President’s White House Correspondents’ dinner, Washington opened his home to help raise funds for the museum. When things were all said and done, $17 million was raised, $10 million of which came in a pledge from Shonda Rhimes.

“There is such a historical significance to this project,’’ said Denzel Washington. “It means so much for our community, our country and to future generations.’’

Hopefully more people will come forward and contribute to history by donating to the museum’s fund. Regardless, Denzel Washington can take pride in being the middle man between the museum and $17 million from his personal friends.

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