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Living History – Woman Visits Slave Cabin She Was Born In At National African-American Museum

I can remember 20-30 years ago coming to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and seeing a row of old cabins alongside a large field. Those cabins had been built back in the time of slavery, and were still being used 100 years later, principally to house migrant laborers. They were eventually condemned and torn down.

When Republicans argue that “Civil Rights” are achieved – they discount the experiences of many living black folks old enough to have grown up under Jim Crow, and possibly have known people who were held as slaves.

As if 50 years of ending Jim Crow has erased the experiences of generations of black people.

 

87-Year-Old Woman Sees ‘Slave Cabin’ in Which She Was Born at National African-American Museum 

Isabel Margaret Lewin

It was a cabin that housed people who were enslaved starting in 1853 on Edisto Island, S.C. In 2017, the restored structure sits in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, helping to tell the often overlooked and covered-up stories of our nation’s history. But to Isabell Meggett Lucas, 87, the cabin also tells the story of her own family and her childhood, having been born in that same cabin several decades ago.

Lucas visited the museum Tuesday with several members of her family, amazed to see the two-room wooden house, where she lived with her large family of 11 on Edisto Island, standing before her as a museum exhibit, NBC Washington reports.

“I never knew this all would come to pass,” she said. “Everybody is excited and happy.”

The Point of Pines Plantation “slave cabin” was the only remaining cabin of some 10 that were built in a row on the same patch of land on the planation. The land and cabins were originally owned by Charles Bailey, who had acquired his wealth through slavery, museum curator Nancy Bercaw told the news site.

However, Lucas said that growing up, she did not know that enslaved people had once lived in the space she called home. She recalled sleeping in one of the two bedrooms with her nine brothers while her parents shared the other room.

“When I was a child, we’d get out and play and climb trees.” Lucas said. “I remember my grandmother cooking and feeding us”

According to the news site, Lucas was raised by her grandmother, whom she thought was her mother. She only learned about the identity of her mother after her grandmother died. Her paternal grandparents lived in the same community, in separate cabins.

The cabin did not have electricity, so the children had to do chores such as fetching wood for the stove. The family had a garden behind the house, where they grew okra and beans, and they raised chickens and hogs for food.

Lucas’ mother was also born in the cabin, but moved out in 1981 after the owners sold it.

The cabin was given to the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society, before eventually being donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, painstakingly taken apart piece by piece and being reconstructed, precisely as it was, within the museum.

On Tuesday, many of Lucas’ family members posed before the reconstructed cabin to take a photo to add the day to the family’s large bank of memories.

“This is the most beautiful thing that could’ve happened—the Meggetts coming forward and visiting us and sharing these stories with us,” Bercaw said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqbwwC2qngY

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Black History

 

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Smithsonian African-American Museum Opens

The National Museum of African American Culture and History has opened. Love the idea, but really am no fan of the building architecture, which is both decidedly visually unexciting, and unlike the Native American Museum seems to have no visual cultural clues as to it’s function.

National Museum of African American History and Culture; (NMAAHC) construction site - Conststution Avenue and 14 th Street image taken on Conststution site October 23, 2015.

 

Smithsonian’s National African-American Museum opens at last

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was over a century in the making. In 1915, black Civil War veterans collected funds they later put toward creating a museum on the National Mall that would celebrate African-American achievement. In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed Public Resolution 107, establishing a commission to plan its construction, but the project went nowhere. It took a renewed effort by lawmakers and African-American leaders beginning in the 1960s, and then decades of planning and proposals, before President George W. Bush signed legislation in 2003 authorizing the museum, which is set to open September 24, steps from the Washington Monument.

“It’s one of those sites and projects that comes about only once in a generation,” says the lead designer of the building, David Adjaye. “It’s always magical to complete a project, but to complete this one on the National Mall, it’s very profound. It’s very humbling.”

Construction on the exterior of the building, a glass structure wrapped in a three-tiered bronze-colored scrim that’s meant to recall a motif in African sculpture (it looks like boxes stacked on a figure’s head), was completed in 2015. Curators are now filling the galleries with artifacts from a collection of some 34,000 items spanning centuries or longer. Museum Director Lonnie Bunch says the exhaustive preparation and organizing is “really almost like planning a military exercise.”

Larger artifacts already in place include a 1944 training plane used by the black military pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen; a once-segregated railway car and a guard tower from the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, both of which the museum lowered in place with cranes before constructing the roof; a 19th-century slave cabin from South Carolina; and Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac.

“When I walk through, I feel the weight of my ancestors,” Bunch says. “I feel an amazing sense of joy that we are close to giving to America, giving to the world, a gift. A gift of understanding who we are as a people in ways that we haven’t before.”

The museum’s nine floors contain three history galleries covering slavery through present day, including the #BlackLivesMatter movement; a theater named for donor Oprah Winfrey; culture galleries featuring African-American icons of music, theater, film and television; and a Contemplative Court, where visitors can reflect on what they’ve seen.

Adjaye has said “there’s triumph and there’s also incredible tragedy” in the history of the African-American experience. Bunch agrees: “You cannot tell stories of celebration and resistance without understanding the trials and travails.”

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in Black History

 

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National Museum of Black History

Almost done! Can’t say I care much for the architecture as it i a starkly modern and out of place as the Native American building is geographically out of place.

The Native American Museum

African American Museum

National Museum of African American History and Culture Scheduled to Open Sept. 24

The Smithsonian Institution has announced that the African-American history museum will open in late September, with the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony led, fittingly, by President Barack Obama.

The long-awaited National Museum of African American History and Culture will open on Sept. 24 in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution announced Monday, the Associated Press reports.

Linda St. Thomas, chief spokeswoman at the Smithsonian, said that President Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, will lead the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

A weeklong celebration is scheduled to follow the opening of the museum, and it will include an outdoor festival and a period in which the museum will remain open for 24 hours.

As AP notes, the museum has built a collection of some 11 exhibits that detail the history of slavery, segregation, civil rights and African Americans’ achievements in the arts, entertainment, sports, military and other aspects of the wider culture. There will also be artifacts on display that are on loan from other institutions, such as the 13th Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation, both signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2016 in Black History

 

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Priceless Tubman Artifact Donation to Museum of African American History

This one is simply stunning. Who would believe such priceless artifacts still existed – much less were in private hands?

Black history museum gets special opening gift

Black History Month was marked in a very special way Wednesday. The president and the first lady attended the ground breaking for the National Museum of African-American History and Culture on the National Mall, where Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech still echoes.
CBS News correspondent Chip Reid got a first look at some of the priceless artifacts the museum will hold.

Charles Blockson, 78, has been collecting African and African-American artifacts for more than 50 years. The high point came just last year when he inherited 39 items that belonged to Harriet Tubman. Born into slavery, she escaped, but returned to the South nearly 20 times leading hundreds of others to freedom on what came to be known as the Underground Railroad.

Some of Charles Blockson’s ancestors were rescued by Tubman.

“When I first received (her artifacts), I was surprised, shocked. Nearly every item I picked up I started to cry, the tears just, my emotional armor erupted,” Blockson said.

The items include a silk shawl that was given to Tubman by Queen Victoria, and Tubman’s book of gospel hymns. Blockson, though, says it felt wrong to keep them, calling it “an awesome burden.”

So he donated the Tubman artifacts, most of them too fragile to be handled, to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Black History, Giant Negros, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Do Not F*&K With Our Museum!

Now – I don’t know where these morons come from – but they are way off base.

You want to protest the Iran and Iraq Wars, then you go after the folks who lied us into them in the first place. Attacking our National Museum only accomplishes that which the same folks have tried to do over and over in Republican attacks on Public Radio and Public educational facilities around the country. Ergo – an ignorant population is a safely Republican population following to war like blind sheep. The surest way to assure ignorance is to destroy the sources of information and knowledge. Message to the October 2011 clowns – You were violating sacred ground.

You want to accomplish something – go protest at the Value Voters Summit or any of the right wing conclaves funded by the beneficiaries of the Military Industrial Complex such as the Koch brothers…

But you stay the flock away from our museums, our libraries, and our publicly funded sources of information.

Go after the Koch suckers!

Wolves in sheep’s clothing…Indeed.

Thank You for Defending Our Museum!

Air and Space Museum closes after guards clash with protesters

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum on the Mall was abruptly closed Saturday afternoon after a “large group of protesters” tried to push past security guards and enter the museum, a spokeswoman said.

At least one demonstrator was pepper-sprayed by a museum guard in the confrontation, said Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas. Several witnesses said that more than a dozen people were affected by the spray.

The museum was closed at about 3:15 p.m., St. Thomas said.

Some of the protesters were affiliated with the Occupy DCdemonstration that had sprung up at McPherson Square last week as an offshoot of the larger Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, said Cody Steele, 21, an American University senior who participated in the march to the museum.

Steele said the march was planned, however, by a different but like-minded group of protesters — known as the October 2011 group — who have been camped out in Freedom Plaza since Oct. 6.

“It’s a shifting movement,” said Steele, who has spent time with both protest groups this past week. “They are separate, but it’s a common set of goals.”

The two groups’ grievances span a range of issues, including corporate power, environmental destruction and American militarism. On Saturday, they were demonstrating at the museum against the U.S. military’s use of drones in overseas wars, witnesses said.

An exhibit of military unmanned aerial vehicles is currently on view at the museum.

As many as 200 people attempted to enter the museum through doors facing the National Mall, said St. Thomas, while others gathered at the museum’s Independence Avenue entrance. The demonstrators carried large signs and other items not allowed inside the museum, she said.

When a security guard told them they could not enter, demonstrators pushed the guard outside and up against a wall, St. Thomas said. Another guard approached and pepper-sprayed one protester before D.C. police and U.S. Park Police were called, she said, and one person was arrested.

No one was seriously hurt by the pepper spray, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for D.C. Fire and EMS. Medics treated several people at the scene, Piringer said, but everyone affected by the pepper spray refused to be taken to hospitals for further evaluation.

 

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Make My Funk a P-Funk! The Mothership Lands at the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Museum has added to it’s collection the iconic Parliament Funkadelic “Mothership”, to be included in the music section of the Museum of African American History.

Smithsonian acquires Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership

The funkiest UFO in the galaxy is about to land in Chocolate City.

The Mothership — the iconic stage prop made famous by legendary funk collective Parliament-Funkadelic — has been acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture where it will help anchor a permanent music exhibition when the museum opens its doors in 2015.
“I’m about to cry!” Parliament-Funkadelic frontman George Clinton said over the phone from his home in Tallahassee on Wednesday. “They’re taking the Mothership! They’re shipping it out! . . . But I’m glad it’s going to have a nice home there.”

It isn’t the original Mothership. This 1,200-pound aluminum spacecraft was built in the mid-’90s — an indistinguishable replica, Clinton says, of the smoke-spewing stage prop he first introduced to slack-jawed funk fans in 1976.

But by 1982, Parliament-Funkadelic’s towering debts forced the group’s Washington-based management company to trash the Mothership in a Prince George’s County scrap yard. And what happened next has become the stuff of myth. Was it stolen? Did it burn in a fire? Is it still floating around somewhere in the cosmos?

An April 2010 Washington Post story about the Mothership’s disappearance sent the Smithsonian searching for it. Kevin Strait, project historian for the museum, didn’t get very far. “All signs pointed to the fact that we weren’t going to find the original,” Strait said. “So that’s when we essentially put our attentions toward the new one.”

Strait contacted Clinton’s management, and the bandleader eventually decided to donate the piece. The ship has been picked up from Clinton’s Tallahassee recording studio and is scheduled to arrive at a Smithsonian storage facility in suburban Maryland at noon on Thursday.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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