Summer is the best time to take full advantage of the cultural offerings in your hometown, nation, or even internationally. The last article I shared with you, was my outing to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, focusing on the history of fashion in America.

A few weekends ago, I took a short trip to Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital to visit the Capital building where the January 6, 2021, insurrection happened and stroll down the National Mall. The National Mall is the home of many museums, and most are free to the public.

About the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

For years, I wanted to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) (https://nmaahc.si.edu/) that chronicles the African American experience from the shores of Africa, Transatlantic Slave Trade, Slavery in America, Freedom, Reconstruction, Segregation, Jim Crow, our contributions to the arts/music, the Civil Rights Movement, Black Lives Matter, to present day.

Pic 1 Journey African American History
Photo by D’Angelo Thompson (2022)

The museum was designed by “three prominent architects and their firms; Philip Freelon of The Freelon Group, David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates, and J. Max Bond Jr. of Davis Brody Bond, in partnership with the Smith Group.” (https://nmaahc.si.edu/about/about-museum)

Pic 2 Journey African American History
Artist, Charles White
Photo by D’angelo Thompson (2022)

My Experience

I would say it’s a transformative, inspiring, and educational experience. Not only for Americans, but for any and every one to understand the seismic repercussions of slavery and colonization around the globe. Our forefathers and mothers left a lot of work and healing for us to do. That healing begins with knowledge, an apology for all the peoples and nations involved, forgiveness, and healing towards a better tomorrow.

Pic 3 Journey African American History
Psychological Redlining by artist Rashaun Rucker (2020)
Photo by D’angelo Thompson (2022)

Pic 4 Journey African American History
Works of Elizabeth Catlett
Photo by D’angelo Thompson (2022)

Within this beautiful vessel of architecture is a treasure trove of history and stories that span centuries. It’s a testament of our divinity and strength as a people and how we continue to be lifted no matter what traps or blocks are put in our paths. Take it from someone who has walked the halls of many museums and sacred sites around the world, this is a “must-see and -do” experience.

D’angelo Thompson
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D’angelo Thompson is a three-time Daytime Emmy Nominated Hair and Makeup Artist, “Guest Hair” Daytime Emmy Award winner for the Wendy Williams Show, an accomplished Author, and Podcast Host.

His most recent credits include Law & Order SVU, Season 21, MTV/VH-1/LOGO (Viacom), Amy Trask (CBS Sports), Food Network, Joy Mangano, Amber Stevens West/Andrea DeBordeaux for Run The World (Starz), and Author, James Patterson. His expertise extends to bridal, editorial, commercial, film, and television. Additionally, for over 20 years, D’angelo has been a consultant and educator in partnerships with Il Makiage, Glamour Dolls Makeup, Chic Studios, Makeup For Ever, Calvin Klein Cosmetics, LORAC, and others.

As an Author, D’angelo penned and published “Enhanced Beauty”, “Enhanced Beauty for Teens “, “Enhanced Beauty: Men’s Grooming”, and “A 100 Days of Gratitude”. All are available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and other online retailers.

He is also the host of “Gratitude Is A Journey” available on Anchor.fm/dangelo- thompson and “Beauty & Gratitude” a series on Soulivity Magazine’s ‘SoulivityTV’, available on Youtube.

D’angelo was educated at Pratt Institute for two years in Fashion Merchandising and Fine Art and through mentorships with Alfred Fornay, Byron Barnes, and Sherry Lee. He further attended The Makeup Institute of California, MAC Pro, Makeup Forever Pro/Academy Workshops, Lash Extension Certification through NYIB, and Basic FX lessons from Daytime Emmy Award-Winning artist, Ingrid Okola. He also holds practitioner licenses and accreditations in Emotional Intelligence, Reiki, Crystal Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Currently attending National University, studying Psychology.

As a community activist, he organizes yearly fundraisers to support AIDS research, education, and advocacy with The Latino Commission on AIDS (2009-2017), youth initiatives, domestic violence, and sex trafficking awareness (2000-Present), social justice, and LGBTQ rights & safety (1990-Present).