By Kristen Flannigan
On Feb. 24, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) had taken a bus trip to Washington D.C. as a part of the celebration of Black History Month.
There, students would have the opportunity to visit the new Smithsonian Natural Museum of African American History & Culture and learn of the rich history and culture that African Americans have.
The museum, which opened its doors on Sept. 24, 2016, is one of the only national museums that is devoted solely to African American life, history and culture.
It has an extensive and detailed collection of different stories and artifacts relating to the history that would lead up to today.
According the museum’s website, they have four pillars that they stand upon:
1. It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions.
2. It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences.
3. It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.
4. It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington, D.C. to engage new audiences and to work with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.
After the tour of the museum, students and faculty that attended were free to explore the city as they pleased in the allotted time allowed. Highlights in the area include the Holocaust Museum, the Washington Monument, the White House and more, which were only minutes away from the museum.
When asked about the trip, two students had shared their feelings and experiences of the trip.
“I thought the OMA D.C. trip to the Smithsonian African American Museum was a wonderful experience for us students to really learn more about African American culture and explore the culture’s many troubles and triumphs,” says junior Brithney Campbell.
Sophomore Glenn Williams also shared his experience of the museum.
“Learning what has been put into me as a child has not lessened the sting, every time I relearn this, it hurts, but even with that pain, it shows that I am strong and proud of my heritage.”
There will be a discussion hosted at a later date to talk about what the students and faculty had experienced during their trip to the museum, which will also help determine whether future events like this one will be planned and funded by OMA again.
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