Disclaimer: These photographs and this visit occurred in February of 2020. This happened before COVID, which explains the crowds and the the close quarters.
Almost a year ago now, we visited the National Museum of African-American History and Culture for the first time with family in Washington, D.C. Before visiting, we’d been trying to score tickets for years but couldn’t seem to move fast enough or strategically enough to get our hands on them. Thankfully, we were able to secure enough tickets for us to attend on President’s Day weekend.
While I’ll focus on how we got the tickets in a later post (especially considering that as of right now those tips would be irrelevant since they are not open 🙁 ), in today’s post, I wanted to share some of the photographs we liked that we snapped during our visit there. I didn’t take as many photographs as I usually do at museums because I really wanted to spend more time taking in as much of the museum as I could since I knew how difficult it might be to get tickets again. It’s an incredibly moving museum that leaves you both filled with the sorrow of the atrocities that my ancestors faced and feeling inspired by black excellence on full display. It’s truly a museum that you have to visit to truly get how amazing it was, but we hope these photographs give you a glimpse inside of one of the most incredible museums I’ve been to.
The layout of the museum is one that leaves it up to the guest in regards to how they’d like to explore it. You can explore the museum from the bottom level to the top or the top level to the bottom, depending on how you would like to engage with the content. However, keep in mind that the top floors are all related to contributions to music, art, science, and more while the lower floors address the atrocities of slavery. When we went, we went from the bottom to the top because we wanted to experience the museum in chronological order, but there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Without giving too much away as I do hope that you’re able to visit one day, there are some exhibits that will truly leave you speechless. I remember one exhibit in particular, everyone was quiet as they walked through it. Some were teary-eyed, but all were in complete shock. You could tell that like myself, everyone there was taking everything in, acknowledging the weight of it.
There were exhibits however that definitely made you feel good and reminded you of the numerous contributions that my ancestors and community has made to American society through music, science, film, and so much more. I remember one exhibit where we spent quite a bit of time listening to music and reflecting on some of the amazing talent that we’ve been able to enjoy because they’ve shared their gifts with the world.
I could go on, but I don’t want to ruin any of the experience for you by sharing everything that you can expect while there. However, what I can say is that these pictures do not truly do the museum justice and do not fully showcase all of the information available there. In fact, this is a museum that if you can, would be best to spend the entire day browsing through.
Here’s some of the photographs we snapped when we visited!
“It’s an incredibly moving museum that leaves you both filled with the sorrow of the atrocities that my ancestors faced and feeling inspired by black excellence on full display.”
VIEW THE MUSEUM FROM HOME
Due to restrictions, museums such as this one have been closed for quite a few months. However, there are ways that you can explore the museum safely from home. While I’d recommend visiting once things safely reopen, there are quite a few places online where you can view some incredible artifacts from home. There’s also quite a few YouTubers who have visited the museum and shared some content of it. Here’s some virtual resources I’d recommend for your exploration!