Travel: Our Experience at the African American Museum in D.C.

About a 3 minute read.

Did we ever tell you about that one time we went to D.C. for our cousin’s birthday?! It was so much fun! In the middle of the trip, we decided to visit a few Smithsonian museums, and the NMAAHC was first on our list!

The new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. is an impeccable building! It’s so exclusive that it is one the only Smithsonian museums that require a (free) ticket upon entry. But you better wake up early to get it, because they ‘sell out’ fast!

The journey begins taking an elevator down to the 1400s. The building itself is a timeline that takes you on a journey to the past. Each ascending floor brings you closer to the present day with artifacts and exhibits. Throughout our interactive experience, we pasted a musical crossroad gallery, a sports exhibit, and even a photography exhibit.

My few of our favorite exhibits include “Through the African American Lens”, “Slavery and Freedom”, and “Making a way out of no way”.


Through the African American Lens

In this exhibit, you will learn how families achieved success during difficult times by improving their circumstances with art, theater, dance, and music. It includes more than 33,000 artifacts in this three-part exhibit. The artifacts include pieces covering topics such as religion, military service, and visual arts.

Slavery and Freedom


This dynamic exhibit explores slavery through exclusive artifacts like Nat Turner’s bible, a slave cabin, and slave shackles. Its exploding with information about the domestic slave trade, slave resistance, and the abolition movement. This exhibit also has lots of interactive sections that allow you to feel exactly how slave felt back then. Being in the cabin, was a real eye-opener.  To think that dozens of slaves would eat, sleep, and interact in one house at times is really mind-boggling.

Making a way out of no way

This last exhibit breaks down the social and racial barriers put upon African Americans. It explores themes of agency, creativity, and resilience through personal stories of African Americans who challenged racial oppression and discrimination and created ways out of “no way.”

Now besides the exhibits in this magnificent museum, this building received a LEED Gold certification for its innovative sustainable design concepts. Its bronze-hued corona echoes traditional Nigerian designs, the transparent walls of its entry-level set it in conversation with the nearby Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, and the wending ramp of its lower floors reflects the unsteady path of progress throughout history. It’s truly a beautiful sight! You won’t regret the trip!




P.S. All photos are by me. 🙂


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