‘Allowing America to Confront Its Tortured Racial Past’

‘ALLOWING AMERICA TO CONFRONT ITS TORTURED RACIAL PAST’

BY   Clare Foran
PUB   The Atlantic 

How the National Museum of African American History and Culture recounts black history in the United States


The Smithsonian Institution museums that dot the National Mall in Washington, D.C. memorialize a certain version of American history. The National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened earlier this month, is now a part of that official narrative. It recounts black history in the United States, and in doing so, presents a narrative about the story of America.

“The story of the African American is so central to America’s definition of itself, its notions of freedom and citizenship. I would never say this is more important than another story, but I would say if you really want to understand America, this is the lens through which to look,” Lonnie Bunch, the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, told Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Washington Ideas Forum, presented by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. The new museum provides a “deeply rich look at African American culture and history, really looking at it, and allowing America to confront its tortured racial past,” Bunch said, adding that at the same time, “it really is saying, this is the story of us all.”



Judy McReynolds-Bowman
ARTIST- MICHIGAN
As a young child, Judy loved to draw and attended summer classes at the Detroit Institute of Arts. After graduating from high school she began taking art classes at Spelman College while attending Morris Brown College, majoring in art. It was during her time in the Atlanta University Center that her love for art really began to grow, art was everywhere in the AU Center in every form. Drawing became a way of life. The highlight of her time in Atlanta was when she was commisioned by Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, jr.’s mother, Alberta Scott King to do art for the newly formed MLK Library, she could not believe that she was collaborating with these two remarkable women.


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