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Reflections on The National Museum of African American History and Culture

Last month, 11th and 12th grade students, teachers, and parents were blessed with an opportunity to be able to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Sadly, the four hours we had there weren’t quite enough for all that was there to see, but in that time frame, both historical and cultural exhibits left an indelible impression on all who visited. An added bonus to our museum experience was being able to eat at their Sweet Home Café, which was described by the gentleman who introduced our tour as being a part of the cultural exhibit as well.   Here are the 12th grade students in their own words:

My visit to the NMAAHC was a powerful reminder of the freedoms I appreciate built off of the fighting and suffering of others. It is a beautifully built museum with a touching memorial to Emmett Till. ~ Reuel

The museum is an amazing building filled with stories of those who fought and suffered for our country and serves as a reminder of a tough journey people went through so we could have the rights we have today…one visit would not be enough to take everything in. ~ David

I would absolutely love to visit the museum again to learn and experience more. The museum was filled with artifacts that showed the journey from slavery to freedom. One of the most memorable parts of the museum was the top floor pop cultural exhibits. ~ Ellis

This visit was one of the most influential moments in my life. As an African American, I have always been taught about my culture and history. So much so, that it becomes numbing. However, seeing the artifacts in front of me felt more real. The Emmett Till section was the most impactful. I heard the story a thousand times, but staring at his casket struck something within me. ~ AnDaezia

I enjoyed the whole museum, but the highlight for me was the third floor…it presented their music, shows, tv, art, and more. It was a great representation about how they overcame a horrible history and made something good and unique out of it. ~ Kyauta

The things I saw at the museum were heartwrenching and inspirational. The feeling and aura in the museum caused me to realize the reality of our history much more. Our visit is an experience I will cherish and remember for years to come. ~ Erelsy

There were many aspects of African American History that were not evident to me until I experienced the very moving exhibits in the museum. From the bottom of the building that showed the dark horrors of segregation, to the very top that highlighted the accomplishments of the African American community, there was so much to learn from their history and the role they’ve played in American society throughout the years. I recommend visiting the museum if you ever have the opportunity, because it had a strong and lasting impact on our group, and we all really enjoyed it! ~ Carla

The field trip that our class took to the NMAAHC was a very moving experience for me. The exhibits about the history were more than just pictures and items. They were pieces of a tragic, real-life story. The museum did a great job of portraying that by taking visitors from the dark basement of the building, which showed the raw core of slavery, to the highest floor of the building, which held artifacts showing how far African Americans have come since then.~Katrina

The trip to the museum taught me how the history books and actual events are viewed differently, based on who is telling it. The trip was an eye opener on how American history books silence the voices and actual history of African Americans. ~ Adelaida

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