St. Catherine's Montessori

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An Inspiration

by Nico Thompson    

Unique and breathtaking architecture that has so much significance in history, and that is based on African Folklore. Windows so big you will see the city that changed so much for this country. Knowing what’s going to be inside, oh you will be in for a surprise. We are waiting outside the brand new National Museum of African American History... I wonder once more what will be inside, and I wonder if it will shock me, surprise me. I wonder, I wonder... 

     As an American, no matter what race we know that in the past African-Americans have been treated very poorly. Most of the mistreatment was just from the color of their skin, and this museum provided insight that most of us never thought we would have. This museum had documents of the influential lives of these African-Americans that changed racial boundaries forever. This museum looks to the future of this group of people as a race, and reflects on their not so pleasant past, such as segregation, slavery, federal discrimination, and much more. 

     Many of the museum's heroes were bound by stereotypes. Jesse Owens was an African-American track star who competed in the Olympic games. He was a hero because he was competing during a time when people were deeply segregated, and he also competed in the 1936 Olympic games in Nazi Germany when Hitler only wanted “Aryan” people to compete. He was also confronted by stereotypes. One of them was the only reason why he was good at running was because the color of his skin. He luckily overcame these stereotypes; he was very successful and he got 4 gold medals for many different events he participated in. He soon became a hero for many different athletes no matter what race or ethnicity. When I learned about him, he earned a special part in my heart and was an inspiration to me.   

One thing I found very peculiar in this museum is the green book. This book helped African-Americans navigate through the Jim Crow South and helped them avoid places that would either discriminate against them, or did not welcome them. Before this museum I never thought that there was anything like this, and it was very interesting. I wonder if some African-Americans and other minorities would have to do the same in some rural areas today.They may not have to have a book, but they still have to  avoid stopping in certain towns that are well known for having white-supremacy. It is very compelling to think about that now and compare it to the past.      

     In the end, this museum according to some people was overrated after such big hype. It was good, but the museum did not have as many exhibits as I thought there was going to be. Still the experience for me was one of a kind because of the many different documents and artifacts. Some people thought this museum was amazing and mind-blowing, and for some it was even their favorite.   

     This museum taught us how so many people had to suffer because of small factors that they could not change. The focus of our trip was peace, and this museum made me realize that we need to stop racism to achieve true peace. We cannot change the minds of so many racist people but we can try and speak out against racism even if we do not experience it. That is why this museum is so special, and makes it a one of a kind place.