The National Museum of African American History and Culture: “I cannot believe I am finally here.”

I have waited with such anticipation to see this museum since I learned we were going to be visiting. I had heard about the long lines and the lack of tickets for months and to be able to have the ability to go thrilled me.

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The museum is incredibly powerful and moving. From the design of the building, the layout of the exhibitions, to the staff who work there, it is all spectacular. There were so many parts of the visit that caused me to stop and ponder both emotionally and intellectually. It is hard to narrow down just one experience to discuss, yet I can think of one that made me very concerned.

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Today I learned a great deal about African Americans who fought in both the Revolutionary and Civil War. Their stories were powerful and moving, yet I had never heard of any of them before. How is this possible? Why is this history missing from my text book? I stopped and thought, “who gets to decide the narrative of what is incorporated into our textbooks and why does it suddenly feel so one-sided?” As a museum professional, it is so important to tell the stories that people either miss or know nothing about in our museums, we exist to educate the public and hold history in a public trust. The National Museum of African American History and Culture does just that, highlighting narratives that are so important to our American story but have yet to have been told on such a level until recently.