Brown City Travels: National Museum of African American History and Culture & D.C.
Ever since the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in September; I was determined to visit. I tried to go when it first opened but the passes were sold out and so I had to wait until January. I wanted to visit while Obama was still in office so I made sure to get tickets before the Inauguration.
This past Wednesday, I headed to D.C. for the day and witnessed the amazingness of the NMAAHC. When I first got there, I went to the Sweet Home Cafe which showcased the culture and history of African Americans through food. There were four stations -- The Agricultural South, The Creole Coast, The North States and The Western Range -- highlighting foods from these four regions. I had brussell sprouts and black eyed peas and my friend had collard greens and mac & cheese -- which was soo good!
We then started going through the museum -- starting at the bottom and making our way to the top. The museum took us through each era of African American history by incorporating relics, stories, artwork and artifacts. Although the museum was filled with other people reading and soaking in history, it felt eerily lonely and awkward since I was standing among both black and white people. I learned so much about the transatlantic slave trade, the Civil Rights Movement and the black is beautiful movement -- things that I was NEVER taught in school. The Emmett Till exhibition was so emotional because they had the coffin he was buried in on display -- of course I learned about Emmett Till in school but this exhibition really gave me a hands-on experience of the brutality of his murder. There were also exhibitions on Oprah, Barack Obama and black people's influence in television, movies, Broadway and in music.
I spent almost 3 hours in the museum and I still did not get to see everything. This is definitely a museum that requires multiple visits. I went through a lot of different emotions while making my way through the chronological history of black people in America. I felt anger, sadness, confusion but then felt pride, happiness and joy at the same time. It made me proud to be a black woman -- black people have always made lemonade (with extra sugar) out of lemons!
I highly recommend going to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and taking your loved ones with you! Especially in times like these -- you have to be reminded of how much African Americans have endured in America.
After the museum I went to a vegan restaurant, HipCityVeg on 7th Street NW. I had the Bistro Bella -- a grilled portabella burger which was amazing!! I walked around China Town and D.C. for a while before leaving. I've been to D.C. many times but this time I really soaked in the culture of the city and I love the vibe and aesthetic of D.C. I will definitely be back this year!
Until next time,