I have to amend my bucket list… http://diaryofamadmind.com/index.php/2016/08/17/my-bucket-list/

I have put a visit to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture at the top of my amended list. I actually implore all of you to do so as well. In fact I realize I am long overdue for a trip to many of the historical sights and museums in our national’s capital. I have not done a sightseeing DC tour since my junior year of high school and it is time for a cultural visit.

I have been to many countries and made it a priority to visit their cultural epicenters, but somehow I have not taken the same initiative to revisit many of America’s greatest treasures since my youth. No better time than the present.

Built as a separate structure, but part of the Smithsonian;

“The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place

where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African

American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape

this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that

divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all.”

I was raised in a Black and Hispanic neighborhood, with no Caucasian students in my classes through eighth grade, yet I was never taught African American history. I was privileged to attend a top tier private school for high school, (predominately Caucasian) no African American history classes were offered. I attended a top private university with a comprehensive core curriculum, that did not include African American history, but I was able to sneak it in as an elective once in addition to my major’s requirements.

Black History Month had not really taken hold as a “thing” when I was a kid, so I am unsure how much my experience in not being taught African American history is relevant to other People Of Color today, but I am pretty sure it is not a substantive part of most curriculums especially in schools that lack diversity.

I understand the impetus behind promoting a Black history month, as a means of highlighting the achievements of African Americans that had been (and continues to be) underrepresented in schools and American culture. However, the reality is that African American history is an integral part of American history and it should be actively and accurately taught in all schools, irrespective of race or diversity.

Until that is correction in all elementary and high school curriculums is made, The National Museum of African American History and Culture give everyone a opportunity to garner a much more comprehensive understanding of the experiences; from the struggles to the achievements of African Americans in the United States.

I am a reader, but can only imagine the knowledge I will gain from the experience of visiting. African Americans need to truly have knowledge of their history. Knowledge of the past can only help in gaining perspective of how far the race has come and how much further we are striving to achieve. Just as importantly, Caucasians and every other race and ethnicity would gain from the experience of a visit to the museum. It is truly difficult to have empathy for anyone you have no knowledge or understanding of beyond stereotype and images seen on television. Learning of the struggles and the achievements could surely be an enlightening moment for any visitor.

I am unsure when I will make it, but as a priority on my amended bucket list, I will make sure I detail my experience once I get there.

#nmaahc #africanamerican #knowledge #museum

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