What Is the National Museum of African American History and Culture Made Of?

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a museum located in Washington, D.C. that documents the history and culture of African Americans. The museum is a part of the Smithsonian Institution and opened its doors to the public on September 24, 2016. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.

What Is It Made Of?

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is made up of five floors that showcase various aspects of African American life, history, and culture. The building itself is an impressive structure that was designed by David Adjaye, a British architect who was inspired by Yoruban art from West Africa.

The Exterior

The exterior of the museum is covered in bronze-colored panels that are meant to resemble the three-tiered crowns used in Yoruba art. These panels are perforated with patterns that were inspired by ironwork found in Charleston, South Carolina – a city with an important history in African American culture.

The Interior

Inside the museum, visitors will find exhibits that cover a range of topics related to African American history and culture. The first floor features exhibits on the slave trade and slavery in America. Visitors can see artifacts such as slave shackles and learn about resistance movements like Nat Turner’s rebellion.

The Upper Floors

The upper floors feature exhibits on topics such as segregation, civil rights movements, sports, music, and more recent cultural contributions made by prominent African Americans like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama.

  • Segregation: This exhibit showcases artifacts from segregation-era America such as signs from “colored” waiting rooms.
  • Civil Rights: This exhibit features artifacts from key moments in the civil rights movement such as Rosa Parks’ dress.
  • Sports: This exhibit highlights the contributions of African American athletes to American sports.
  • Music: This exhibit showcases the impact of African American music on popular culture.

The Contemplative Court

One unique feature of the museum is the Contemplative Court located at the center of the building. The court is a space designed for quiet reflection and features a water feature that flows over inscriptions from civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is an impressive structure that documents the history and culture of African Americans. Designed by David Adjaye, the building’s exterior is covered in bronze-colored panels that are meant to resemble Yoruban art from West Africa and perforated with patterns inspired by ironwork found in Charleston, South Carolina.

The museum’s exhibits cover a range of topics related to African American history and culture including slavery, segregation, civil rights movements, sports, music, and more recent cultural contributions made by prominent African Americans like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama. The Contemplative Court located at the center of the building provides visitors with a space for quiet reflection on the museum’s exhibits.