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  • Writer's pictureJill

The National Museum of African American History and Culture: Part 2

Each part of this museum was powerful and moving. The quality of the exhibits, the visual artistry, and the organization made the experience both profound, and accessible.

Let me say again, in this second video (of 3 - there was too much for just one video), that the museum is complex, and can be overwhelming. There is so much to see. This video represents just a small fraction of the artifacts and history of the African American story so movingly told in this museum.

At some point when I was touring the museum, I just wanted to be still and absorb the story around me. It was hard to even think of taking pictures. But I perservered enough to provide a skeletal narrative for you, so you will know how important it is to visit if you're ever in D.C.

There was one area that I did not visit in this part of the museum, and that was the Emmett Till exhibit. It was late and the line was very long, and so we made the decision to move on to the next section. I now regret that decision after having read about it. However, there are no photographs allowed in the Emmett Till exhibit, in any case. The curators wanted "visitors to be present, to take in the photos of Till and his mother and his coffin. Additionally, the casket is staged in such a way that people have to stand on tiptoe to see even a corner of the image inside showing his mutilated face, which is also displayed in a glass case directly outside the exhibit."

Here's an article that does a good job of describing the origin of the Till exhibit and its importance to the African American story.

Next time I visit D.C. This will be on my agenda.

Part 3 (the final part) of the National African American Museum of History and Culture tomorrow.


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