In honor of John Lewis: the Smithsonian’s abbreviated virtual tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

It seems important to mark in some small way the passing of a very remarkable man. John Lewis was an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, always embracing non-violence as the only way to achieve equality. This came from his unfailing Christian values. He believed in standing up for what is right, but never, NEVER veered from his biblical roots. His voice will be missed…but on the other hand, his voice will never be lost. He lived in an age when saving the important moments in time is as easy as taking a breath…when one is allowed to breathe. Thank you, John Lewis, for your time with us.

I wanted to offer this link to one of the Smithsonian’s newer museums, one that took way too long to establish: the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“As museum director Lonnie Bunch wrote in his essay for Smithsonian: I think the museum needs to be a place that finds the right tension between moments of pain and stories of resiliency and uplift. There will be moments where visitors could cry as they ponder the pains of the past, but they will also find much of the joy and hope that have been a cornerstone of the African-American experience. Ultimately, I trust that our visitors will draw sustenance, inspiration and a commitment from the lessons of history to make America better. At this time in our country, there is a great need for contextualization and the clarity that comes from understanding one’s history. I hope that the museum can play a small part in helping our nation grapple with its tortured racial past. And maybe even help us find a bit of reconciliation.

“Designer David Adjaye and architect Philip Freelon planned this museum. The iconic three-tiered design of the building was modeled on a sculpture by a Yoruban artist and its intricate exterior brass work honors the unheralded craftsmen of the American South.”

Entrance side with a reflecting pool.

This “tour” provided by the Smithsonian, doesn’t actually take you inside the museum to move around. However, you get a great view of the unusual building. The circular arrow on the right side allows you to turn the building so you can see every side.

A side view of the building.

The circled images on the building are entryways that provide a small sample of what’s inside. Click on those and you’ll see a written explanation of that area of the museum.

A description of Heritage Hall.
A description of the Sweet Home Cafeteria, where you can taste some popular African American foods.

This link takes you to the website. There are additional pages to peruse (articles listed on the right side of the museum’s website page) if you’re interested in more about the history of Black America, including a discussion of what it took to get the museum constructed.

If you’re not doing anything more important while sitting out the pandemic, take a look.

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