Last week I traveled to DC on a group excursion I arranged with timed passes to see the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Our timed Entry was 12:45 and we toured the Capitol building first so we were a bit rushed with lunch and getting there on time. Our group was part people from the NAACP exec, part people from Crispus Attucks Association and the Goodridge Freedom Center, and then also two local museum members, who had arranged the capital tour and also for us to tour the NMAAHC with the head of Collections, who apparently doesn't actually give tours, so it was a very special opportunity.
I'm still processing my reaction to the museum. The outside is gorgeous. The inner lobby had a couple art pieces installed in it that just left me feeling puzzled as to their point or connection to anything else, and in talking to other members of the group, that reaction seemed shared. We spent a bunch of time on the bottom floor, which has to do with the beginning of the colonies and slave trade. I feel like I could have taken a full day to go through each floor, and still not have seen and heard all there was to see and hear. They have a couple of whole cabins that have been relocated into the museum. They have a Tuskegee airplane. There is so much. A lot of it I have already studied in the past 6 years, but some of it was still new.
My friend Serena and I spent some time in the gift shop. Lots of books. Some odd things. Like, they have a book of paper dolls of Michelle Obama and her clothes, but the representations of her and her fashion do not do either justice. I commented on that to Serena, and she agreed and felt it was clearly not the work of an African American artist. There were several odd notes like that. There were places in the historical displays were I was sorry they left things out. Only so much space, right?
I will have to go back a few times to take it all in, and plus it is going to change. There was a whole exhibit hall that's not open yet. Lots to see.
Speaking of seeing, Here are some pictures from the trip
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