The Smithsonian Experience: PART ONE
Last month I had the privilege of visiting the African American History Museum in Washington D.C. with my family. I had been wanting to go for a while now so when the opportunity presented itself we hatted up and rolled out to DC. To say the museum was overwhelming is a gross understatement: the sheer amount of history they managed to organize into one building is INCREDIBLE. I was really impressed.
When we came into the museum we were instructed to start at the lowest level and work our way up. We took an elevator ride that was as eerie as it was anxiety-inducing; the doors opened up and you instantly felt like you were in the bowels of a slave ship.
I had already finished Zora Neale Hurston's Barracoon by the time we made the trip to the museum. I made it my business to finish the book and I'm glad I did. Nothing that I saw on the lowest level surprised me. I was glad to see that the museum didn't mince words about the origins of the TransAtlantic Slave trade and all of the factors that played a role in how we got to The Americas. From Juan Garrido, Ayuba Suleiman Diallo and the king of Dahomey, Ahosu Ghezo - the museum did not sugarcoat a gotdamned thang! Click the links to read up on these people and connect the dots. It was more a way more complex story than what we have been inclined to believe.
The next thing that I marveled at was the sheer number of Africans that were sold and transported into the Americas. We already know that Black folks are universal but to see it laid out so plainly truly put a lot of things in perspective. When you think about how this forced Exodus effects Black people, no matter where we are, and how this traumatic event is now embedded into our DNA; when someone tries to tell you that slavery was a long time ago and it has no bearing on our lives today please feel free to kick them in their good knee. Nobody has time for Holocaust Denial. This shit was traumatic AF.