Was it me or was the hype machine in full effect in anticipation of the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)!
For months they have been serving up full press promotion amplified by social media! Needless to say, according to the Washington post, the tickets are all sold out until 2017! Congrats on a job well done by Lonnie G. Bunch III and the publicity team!
Contrary to what the Rapp group Public Enemy and front man Flava Flav may have crooned when they performed their flagship hit “Fight The Power” at the opening ceremonies, I would say, DO believe the hype! I recently visited the museum on the Monday after the official grand opening weekend and I admit that it did not disappoint!
Thanks to the kindness of a good friend, I will call her Dar, I got the ticket hook up that I was hoping for because things did not go so well when I tried to snag my own on that Sunday Morning that they were released.
So on Monday, September 26, the day after the grand opening weekend, I made my way down to the mall and met Dar, her husband, and a longtime friend of Dar’s, I will call her Bar, who had already visited the museum. It was a nice day so we stood in line and yakked away the 20 or so minutes that it took for us to get into the museum.
After passing through security, I’ll admit that I was a bit overwhelmed by the crowds and the expansive foyer. The others ran ahead of me to the down stairs but I instead made my way over to the big square information desk and snagged a souvenir bag that contained a button and four post cards!
This was a “cursory” visit at best because of the crowds and long lines. There were lines to to get into the eatery and to the downstairs exhibit on slavery and the Pullman porters. I did a drive by of those exhibits.
Bar and I broke off from Dar and her husband because they had to leave the museum early. We wound up at the mural on the main floor. As we were admiring and taking pictures in front of the mural, a museum employee or volunteer pointed to a stairwell across from the museum and beckoned us to take the stairway up to the unknown!
I hesitated, but the ever so adventurous and energetic Bar bounded up the stairs with me trying to keep up as we entered a huge hall to find a beautiful water feature and provided us a respite from the crowds. I would have never known that it was there. I wonder how many visitors missed this treat! Again, what I saw of the museum did not disappoint. Woven into the exhibits was lots of technology to keep visitors of all ages engaged, entertained, and learning.
Amidst the selfie takers and people asking me to assist them with their selfie taking, I was actually able to see a few exhibits and yes, this former Funkateer managed to make her way to the “Mothership”!
I definitely need to plan to visit again to see the exhibits that I missed! This museum lived up to the hype and I would hope that it would be a springboard to encourage readers to visit not only this museum, but also other museums here in the DMV and those in other cities across our nation and around the world. They feature exhibits and collections that are not found in this museum so please visit and support them!
This quilt that I saw reminded me of the work of all the genealogist, family researchers, and historians. How we are each working on our “square” of research and will hopefully be able to connect them for a better understanding of world history, who are ancestors were, and who we are!
Footnote: Since I wrote this post in late September prior to my father’s passing, I received a second ticket hookup from a friend and visited the museum again in mid October. Stayed tuned for “Part Two, the Second Visit“!
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