My first visit to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in the nation’s capital was on December 21, 2016. I left the museum without experiencing all that the newest Smithsonian had to offer. One day was really not enough. So, I went back. This time with fourteen people ready to take in more of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
On my initial visit, the hubby and I explored our African American history and culture with our college friends. This time, our entourage included my millennials from New York City, our fellow Paris travelers, and other family members.
My main goal this time was to see the Emmett Till memorial, including his coffin. We weren’t allowed to take photos at the family’s request but it was well-worth the line to see it. The last time I went to the NMAAHC, there were long lines with hours of wait time to see the restored coffin. This time, there was no extended wait time for this exhibit. As a Black woman, the senseless and brutalizing death of this fourteen-year-old Black child was most certainly a jumping off point in 1955 for the Civil Rights Movement.
This time I was fascinated with the Southern Railway No. 1200 Jim Crow era train car inside the museum. The segregated railroad car was the first artifact installed and the museum was built around it. According to The Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (which I bought in the bookstore), during the 1940s, the Southern Railway Company operated a long-distance passenger service between Washington, D.C., and New Orleans. To comply with state laws that required public transportation be segregated, the company outfitted this coach with a partition to create separate seating sections for white and black passengers.
Reading The Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, reminded me that I still didn’t see everything located in the 85,000 square feet of exhibition space which houses over 3,000 objects.
The NMAAHC is still experiencing record number visitors since opening in September 2016. You still must have a timed pass to enter the museum. I was able to secure another set of the free timed entry passes back on January 5th. The next release for July 2017 passes is on April 5th at 9:00 a.m. Passes go very quickly when released.
Our group of millennials and boomers opted to polish off our day with dinner at BusBoys and Poets, a restaurant, bookstore, lounge, and theater in the Northwest section of Washington, D.C instead of
Sweet Home Café in the NMAAHC.
If you live in the Washington, D.C area, be sure to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture. But know that once is not enough to fully experience its wealth of exhibits. If not, I hope you enjoyed my visit this time.
Have a fabulous, fierce and stylish week,