As a student or intern in Washington DC, you have access to some of the most amazing resources for culture and history in our country. You can immerse yourself in art, politics, science, history and so much more for vast, well rounded, culturally rich experiences.
The African American Museum is not to be missed.
Anyone who visits this museum is in for a humbling and impactful experience. Our students tell us it changed the way they thought about this part of our history.
This museum is packed with visitors and is the hottest ticket in Washington. Reserve early! Tip: If you can’t get in or get a ticket, try coming in the afternoon once the crowds have begun to leave. You may get lucky enough to get in.
This facility offers deeply meaningful, long-lasting effects to anyone who walks through the doors. It is eye-opening, life changing, and it is filled with the ever-conflicting emotions that make up our history as Americans.
In fact, that is exactly why this museum is such a must for your cultural agenda while in D.C. We have to be willing to remember and discuss history in order to impact change and shift perspective.
What to expect when you visit
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture takes visitors on a journey through time from the good to the bad to the ugly. It is a challenging journey that tells the story of both the struggles of everyday life and of the prosperity that was forged through that pain.
The museum tracks back to times before the slave trade, to the lack of humanity during and after slavery. The journey forces new perspectives as you experience the harsh realities of the intellectual, industrial, political and sociological impact on the human beings who were captured and held as slaves.
To face this history is hard, yes, but through the darkness is light.
Walking through this museum, visitors get to listen to many stories. These narratives relive the journeys that have led and forced societal change to embrace the contribution of millions and allowed us to live as one race and one community of Americans.
Going through the museum is a very emotional experience, but it is also an incredibly valuable one. In one day, you will learn more about American history than you have ever learned in a classroom, from books or your community.
These moments in our nation’s history are fully communicated through truthful and vibrant displays. They share a collective voice that society kept in the dark for far too many years when we needed to know about the important pieces, contributions and inventions.
The museum shares the knowledge of how our country would not have advanced, become as progressive or as powerful were it not for our African American citizens and contributors.
How it reminds us of tolerance
The education that the African American Museum gives each and every visitor is a powerful reminder that we are all one people and that we must all step outside of ourselves – see things from new perspectives. This is, after all, how we continue to learn from one another, work together, become friends, coworkers, neighbors, a strong community and ultimately continue to move forward as a society.
This museum is just one more step on our path to end a moment in history where certain communities and certain safeties are compromised due to a lack of understanding, tolerance and compassion, and why that must be stopped, one learning experience and one conversation at a time.
A visit to the African American Museum is a fully immersive experience that you have to go into with an open mind and heart.
It is one that you will walk away humbled and determined to start contributing and impacting change by educating others around you, whether that’s your friends and family, or your co-workers, team members and community.
A visit to this museum will push you to think harder, step outside of yourself and practice compassion in your everyday understanding of how people and life come together.