\”This is history!\” Those were the words of Gloria McKissack who journeyed from Nashville, Tennessee to the opening of the National Museum of African-American History & Culture (NMAAHC). This was probably the sentiment of everyone that came to the Mall yesterday. Thousands of people ventured to the Mall yesterday to be a part of history. History and culture converged on the Mall complimented by the museum\’s architecture. The museum is styled after Sunday morning church hats; a tradition at African-Amercian churches.
The overcast skies didn\’t dampen the enthusiasm or emotions. There were people of all ages, race, and cultures on hand waiting their turn to enter the museum. It was truly a convergence of history and culture.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a Smithsonian Institution museum established in December 2003. The museum\’s building, designed by David Adjaye, is on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. Early efforts to establish a federally owned museum featuring African American history and culture can be traced to 1915, although the modern push for such an organization did not begin until the 1970s. After years of little success, a much more serious legislative push began in 1988 that led to authorization of the museum in 2003. A site was selected in 2006.
History and Culture Converge
No testimony was more emotional than that of one vistor who talked about how the museum evoked childhood memories. She recounted memoires of her youth and a visit to her southern grandparents. She was moved to tears when she told the story of the shack they lived in on the property of a tobacco farmer. Her eyes watered as she talked about the spendor of the home adorned with white columned pillars in contrast to her grandparents\’ living situation.
Her attendance at the opening of museum honored the memory of her grandparents. She felt the connection between her grandparents\’ journy and the museum are forever linked by her attendance. Once again – history and culture converge.