President Barack Obama says the Smithsonian's new African American history museum is great because it does more than tell stories about famous black people.

Speaking Friday at a White House reception to celebrate Saturday's official opening of the museum, Obamasays it's a powerful place because it tells the "story of all of us."

The president told museum supporters they were standing there because somebody, somewhere "stood up for us."

Obama took his family on a behind-the-scenes tour earlier this month of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall. His groundbreaking presidency is among the many exhibits.

He and his wife, Michelle, will join others on the National Mall for Saturday's ribbon cutting.