National Geographic is the fifth stop for the award-winning exhibition, “America I AM: The African American Imprint,” now on a ten-city, four-year tour. The exhibition opened here in Washington, D.C., on February 2 and will remain at the National Geographic Museum until May 1. More than 200 artifacts from almost 500 years of African American history and culture are on display.
Twelve galleries comprise the exhibition, the first part a welcoming and empowering introduction featuring dozens of pictures of influential African Americans from 1699 to 2009, including Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, and President Barack Obama. Next, the museum takes you on a chronological tour of African American history beginning with the Atlantic Slave Trade. Guests can view the original “Doors of No Return” from Ghana, through which enslaved Africans passed on their way to board ships to make the Middle Passage.
As the history-spanning tour continues, guests view tools used by tobacco workers in the 1800s including knives, hoes, and sickles. The museum also holds books and journals kept by slaves and famous abolitionists including Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass.
Whether you have a special interest in the anti-slavery movement, the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, or beyond the museum has something for you. The artifacts convey to viewers what life was like during slavery, fighting in the Civil War, or participating in the Civil Rights Movement.
“America I AM” is an educational and inspiring exhibit. With objects of cultural and historical significance spanning the course of nearly five centuries, there’s something for everyone to appreciate. And in the final “The World and What’s Your Imprint?” gallery visitors can leave a video “imprint” of their own experiences.
For more information about the exhibition and its related events–films, lectures, live performances–or to purchase tickets online, visit the museum’s website.
America I AM
National Geographic Museum
1145 17th Street, N.W.
9AM to 5PM
Adults $12; Children $6