Review: The National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

This past weekend, my husband, his family and I went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. I’m not even sure where to start to describe my feelings on the experience. I floated between being extremely excited that a place such as this was created for public consumption and being overwhelmed by the amount of information that was there and by what I knew and didn’t know.

We started off on the main floor where we were told that we would be transported about 70 feet underground on a glass elevator that was essentially serving as transporting visitors back in time to the 1400s. Through there you walk through many exhibits until you get to the 2000s and beyond. There was so much to read and study that there wasn’t a dull moment throughout our 3-hour visit.

When you step off of the glass elevator you are brought into exhibits that tell the stories of the Middle Passage or the stories many Africans faced when they were captured and brought to the New World. After taking a journey through the Middle Passage exhibits, you end up in front of a wall that has the words “All Men Are Created Equal.”

Through there visitors are able to see and read exhibits that are telling stories from the slavery, the Segregation Era and the Civil Rights Movement.

Elizabeth "MumBet" Freeman was the first black slave to file and win a freedom suit in Massachusetts.

Elizabeth Freeman

Women and The Civil Rights Movement Exhibit

The Rosa Parks Exhibit

After that you make your way to modern times.

The Oprah Winfrey Exhibit

Part of the 2000s and Beyond Exhibit

One of the exhibits that I regret not being able to see yet was Emmett Till. After getting teary eyed at one of his photos near the beginning of our museum tour, I knew I was not ready to see his original casket. That is also the exhibit in the museum that you are not allowed to take photos of out of respect for the Till family

The only downside about the museum was the crowds. Although we expected a lot of people to be there since the museum is still giving out timed-passes, it was still difficult to appreciate everything the museum had to offer. I definitely want to go back on another day that hopefully will have less people.

We did get an opportunity to eat in the cafeteria after visit the exhibits and enjoyed some southern cuisine. There were other stations included in the cafeteria including cuisines that were influenced by northern and western states and Caribbean nations.

Visiting the museum was the perfect Saturday afternoon activity and I can’t wait to go back and take a more through look around the exhibits and to hopefully gain an even deeper understanding of this section of American history.

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