Museums succeed at telling compelling stories and engaging their local communities in meaningful ways. However, museums have a role in telling their visitors about the research necessary to create blockbuster exhibits and the methodologies used to uncover displayed objects. This “insider” knowledge can inspire future scholars, curators, and archaeologists. The staff of the National Museum […]Read more "History Under the Surface –The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s partnership with the African Slave Wrecks Project"
Let’s face it: Andrea Burns is right. Her book, From Storefront to Monument: Tracing the Public History of the Black Museum Movement, rightfully points out the disenfranchisement of African Americans in museums in the past, and describes the efforts to bring more African Americans to the table. What struck me while reading was the idea […]Read more "A Revolution Still in the Making: “From Storefront to Monument” Today"
In Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America, Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton defined Black Power as: “…a call for black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for black people to begin to define their own goals, to lead […]Read more "Report to the Public"
From Storefront to Monument: Tracing the Public History of the Black Museum Movement by Andrea Burns, among other things, shares the story behind the creation of the African American Museum of Philadelphia. When books talk about details leading up to an important event they risk overwhelming readers with details, names and acronyms. Here is a […]Read more "Progress Report: The First Major African American Museum"
“‘I like this museum. It’s good to feel you’re part of something. A lot of times I go into different museums and enjoy the items on display but there’s an empty feeling. This place gives you a chance to feel history.’”  This quote from From Storefront to Monument: Tracing the Public History of […]Read more "Space and Place"
In September 1967, the Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) in Washington, D.C. opened its doors. Founders hoped that it could help reinforce a sense of place, purpose, and history for the local African American community. Since its opening, the ACM has been well received, with one journalist suggesting it should be credited with pioneering the concept […]Read more "The Wing: An Advocate for Community-Driven Exhibitions"
How do new museums find a location and a community to build a home for history? In the 1960’s and 1970’s African American groups in Northeastern cities denied their scant representation in the staid, established museums. These groups insisted that the best way to remember and present their history was for to African Americans to […]Read more "Engaging Communities in the Black Museum Movement"
What do you do if there is no place for you? Make one. This approach became popular amongst Black separatists during the time of the Black Power Movement. Black separatism was a movement to create separate institutions for people of African descent. Mainstream views amongst black separatists held that blacks can never fully advance within […]Read more "Museum X: Separate Places for Separate People"
This week’s readings targeted the topic of black feminism. In Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, Angela Davis shows how female blues artists broached topics that were not normally a part of public discussion. They openly referred to taboo topics such as intimate partner violence, rape, and sexuality. This made me wonder how black women are […]Read more "Mother Tongue Monologues"
“When they confront race and gender stereotypes, black women are standing in a crooked room, and they have to figure out which way is up…It can be hard to stand up straight in a crooked room.”  To combat the world in the crooked room, Black women have used many outlets to raise self-consciousness and […]Read more "A Fantastic Journey It Is"