National Museum of African American History and Culture

Hello everyone, Tori here again! Today our group spent the afternoon exploring the newest Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The mission of this museum is similar to what most educators strive for in their classrooms; inspiring a more tolerant and inclusive society through education. Today we had the opportunity to explore all four levels of this inspiring museum.

A dress Rosa Parks was designing at the time of her arrest, 1955.

Our group started our exploration by traveling 600 years in the past. The elevator on the first level of the museum acted as a time machine, allowing us to gradually walk through the many years of history. Our time machine brought us back to the 1400s when African Americans were first brought over to our country. This level brought us from the start of history and concluded our journey in 2008, at the time Barack Obama became the 44th president. As we continued to walk through this first level, we were able to learn more about each significant time period in the lives of African Americans through videos, images, text, and artifacts.

An example of the technology found on the second level.

The second level of this museum allowed visitors the chance to explore history and culture through the use of innovative technology. This level offered a variety of hands on learning experiences through performance, the use of technology, and through interactive quests. This level engages visitors of a variety of ages by further diving into the history in an interactive way.

The third level of the museum allowed us to learn more about the impact sports played on the lives of African Americans. This level allowed us to see how athletes were able to make an impact both on and off the field.

Artifacts and movie clips from Hollywood throughout the years.

The fourth and final level of the museum allowed us dive into cultural impacts such as through fashion, music, dance, film, and more. This floor emphasized the use of creative expression and how this expression has made a beautiful and lasting impact on our nation.

This museum provided us with a chance to immerse ourselves in the history that has shaped our nation. As educators it is our duty to ensure we are providing our students with opportunities to understand the importance of bringing knowledge to the surface that they otherwise may not be aware of.

If you are unable to bring your class on a trip to DC, the museum’s website offers a variety of resources to help bring the museum to your classroom no matter where your school is located!