A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to view the exhibit Presented by Tavis Smiley, America I am. Right away, I said Yes! I heard a little bit about it but really did not know anyone personally who actually attended.
Let me just tell you, I was moved from the very beginning to the very end. The exhibit began with the profound words of W.E B. Duboise. I felt eery, solemn and reflective as I went Walking through a simulation of the "Door of no return" at the Cape Coast Castle, viewed the personal diary of Malcolm X and the chair in which Martin Luther King sat in during his trial. And hurt at my heart upon viewing the savage and beastly items that were used to enslave many victims of the African slave trade.
Although, one cannot discuss or create an exhibit of the African in America without acknowledging the disgraceful and sad events that it involves, one also cannot omit the beauty, skill, craftsmanship and ingenuity that they have brought to America. Which is another reason that I appreciated the exhibit. I was able to see beautiful pieces of cookware, basketwork, and quilting that was crafted by the hands of slaves. The exhibit tactfully yet with boldness let it be known that the once great economy of this country was built upon the hard labor of the enslaved African men and women.
Towards the end of the exhibit we were brought right into our day and time, viewing photos, donated clothing, musical instruments, and sports memorabilia. All from the many African Americans who have played major roles in pop culture, education and basically all things "American".
What a great experience for all who wish to know more, to gain a deeper understanding and empathy for the other side of history.
I had some techical difficutlies posting the pictures. So if you would like to view pictures of the exhibit, click here.