Friday, February 1, 2013

Changing America

Changing America is the new exhibit in the National African American History and Culture gallery located in the National Museum of American History. This exhibition parallels to huge events in American history that transformed our nation. The first event highlighted is the Emancipation Proclamation which was signed January 1, 2013. That section of the exhibition talks about what that meant for those enslaved and how their lives were transformed by the proclamation.
The second important event is the March on Washington (MOW) which occurred in 1963. In talking about the MOW, the exhibition also talks about several movements that led up to this great event. Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Monument, A. Phillip Randolph's failed attempt in the 1940s, and the major players in organizing the MOW like Randolph, Bayard Rustin, and others.

Exhibition Entrance 

Center Section/intro panel that shows the two different sections. I also like the A.P.R. quote. 

Harriet Tubman's shawl. 

Commemoration print of the emancipation proclamation

Another commemoration print. I actually did some research on this object as part of my internship.

Transitioning to MOW side with a wonderful MLK quote. 

A sign carried at the MOW 

Official MOW poster I believe 

The exhibition concludes with showing how the MOW also inspired other campaigns like the Poor People's Campaign, and the American Disabilities movement. 
 One of the coolest parts of this exhibition was the fact that several of the objects in the emancipation proclamation side I have done research on as part of my internship. It made my day to see them in person.
Overall, I think this is one of the best exhibitions that has been sponsored by the museum. However, my one complaint would be that it is slightly cramped mainly because of how small the gallery is. The walkway between the cases felt almost claustrophobic and I'm sure was at the minimum allowance for ADA requirements.