The last time I spent most of a day in a museum was on my first visit to the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in 2000. But it was equally easy getting lost in the National Museum of African-American History and Culture last weekend while my wife and I were in Washington D.C. If you haven't visited it yet, check out the website above and then make time for it on your next trip to the capital. I'm confident you will find it worthwhile.
The history portion of the museum, which starts three stories below ground level, was the highlight for me. The elegant design walks a visitor up from the 15th century through the 21st, tracing an arc from the earliest days of the African slave trade through the eight years of the Obama presidency. Although never out of the spell, I lingered longest in the sections featuring the notorious Middle Passage and the dismantling of Reconstruction. I was grateful to have an opportunity to play more catch-up on both those pieces of neglected history.
And there's no doubt the one display in the NMAAHC that will never leave me was the small room devoted to the murder of Emmet Till. As the ramp of history ended, I made use of a secluded room on the ground floor that overlooks a fountain and is set aside for quiet contemplation.