Watching the ecstatic and emotional reactions of the crowd inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture (@nmaahc) simply meant that this museum is not just about history.I saw visitors tweeting strings of photographs, in minute-by-minute excitement, of all kinds of objects that provoked an immediate, personal response: identification, laughter, prayer hands.
1968 Black Power Salute
Chuck Berry's Cadillac Eldorado are some of the items found on the fourth floor.
#APeoplesJourney #MakingHistory #nmaahc
It is impressive to see that so many Americans gave gifts of their own history to this new museum, so that others could share. One of these is by Nigerian sculptor Olowe of Ise. It is displayed on the museum’s fourth floor. “She too has made the journey from Africa to America.” The crown’s shape comes from Nigeria, the screen pattern refers to New Orleans ironwork made by African-American craftsmen, the broad porch embodies the hospitality offered at even the humblest Southern residence. And, in the subtlest gesture of all, the angled sides of the Corona are at the same 17.5 degrees as the top of the Washington Monument.
At the NMAAHC you are supposed to start at the bottom, with history, and rise toward the light, music, and George Clinton’s Mothership. The history lesson downstairs starts with a dark, detailed look at the conditions under which Africans came to America.
Did you get your ticket yet?
“For people of all races to be able to break biscuits made by an African-American chef, in a museum designed by African-British and African-American architects, on the National Mall, under the wary eyes of those four heroic teenagers—it’s a sign of how far America has come, even as the need for wariness is ongoing.” - David Adjaye