Sunday, September 25, 2016
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE, ANCHORS.
Icheoku says what a magnificent work of art it is, crafted in the finest of steel, with bronze-hued exterior, which on one side looks like an ark (ship), possibly designed after the many ships in which millions of Africans were forcibly brought shackled down to the Americas. The museum indeed is quite splendid and makes a very powerful presence, standing majestically so close to the Mall of Washington in Washington DC. Icheoku says congratulations to the team that made it possible; who midwifed the project and who finally brought that aspect of American history this up close and in the face.
They labored in order that people will not forget how long the journey traveled so far by African Americans is; a journey which still continues till today in various forms of roadblocking racist discrimination throughout the country. But in the old negro song, we shall all overcome and as long as we keep the hope alive and keep on marching on. The team did a very great job - from its choice location, design, architecture, construction and finishing; and including of course the many artifacts which were painstakingly collected and assembled therein. Indeed it is a very beautiful and statement-making edifice and hopefully it will become a major draw for tourists and students as well as people from all over the world interested in actually learning about the ugly history of slavery and slave trade which still haunts America till today.
It is equally a good thing too that the museum which was authorized by a white president George Walker Bush in 2003 was completed and opened during the presidency of a black president Barack Hussein Obama in 2016; thus once again bringing the two races that constitute America historically, crossing paths and making another history all together. In his remarks at the opening ceremony, President GW Bush called the museum "fabulous" and said "It shows our commitment to truth. A great nation does not hide its history, It faces its flaws and corrects them." Representative John Lewis who led the struggle to have the museum built, said "This place is more than a building; it is a dream come true."
The museum choreographs a history steeped in rich struggle for freedom and equality, from slavery to civil rights to the latest Black Lives Matter movement and every other thing in between. Icheoku says it is a "clarion call to remember" the past and the journey so far, but whether this sordid past will continue to plague and hound present and future generation of black Americans, who will always feel intimidated by their story, is a possibility.
According to Peter Kovler, "How can you fail to see the links between current events - Charlotte, Tulsa, Black Lives Matter - and the brutal death of Emmet Till all those years ago. You have to be deliberately not looking at things to not see that there are things from that era that still applies to our era." Another woman said "it was dangerous then to be black in America and it is still dangerous to be black on America now." President Barack Obama bemoaned that blacks are not a burden to America and in his own words, said "We are not a burden on America or a stain on America or an object of pity or charity for America. We are America." Icheoku says whether white Americans agree to this statement is an entirely different matter all together. Overall, a good structure and curation of stories history of black peoples struggle and contributions in America.