The grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) was on Saturday, September 24, 2016. The grand opening began with a Dedication Ceremony and afterwards a festival. The festival included musical performances, dance, spoken word, oral history activities and two evening concerts. There were also other community celebrations featuring art and music that were held throughout the city to mark this occasion.
I went to the museum on Monday. I was amazed at the number of elderly people standing in the lines, some with walking aids, to witness this collection of historical artifacts. Viewing such a vast collection of historical artifacts depicting such impactful moments in African American history was a sight to behold. A wide range of emotions flowed through my mind, heart and soul throughout the tour. The realization of the vast number of lives lost fighting for equality and freedom, that some take for granted without regard of the cost paid by our ancestors, could not escape my thoughts.
There was one exhibit that really generated sadness – The Emmett Till exhibit. The energy that permeated from the crowd was immersed in sorrow. No photographs were allowed to capture that display of artifacts which included Emmett’s original casket and other items such as photographs of Emmett, his mom and other family members. I walked alongside an elderly gentleman who recounted to me other details about the death of Emmett Till as he remembered and as if it was just a couple of days ago.
Rather than go on about my feelings, I thought I would share some pictures from my visit.
National Museum of African American History and Culture