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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Soulivity Editor-at-Large D’angelo Thompson is known for his mastery of beauty and quality aesthetic. He is also one of the entertainment industry’s most sought-after artisans. Originally from Chicago, D’angelo always dreamed of one day taking the beauty industry by the reigns both nationally and internationally; and, in the past two decades, has done so in a phenomenal way. It is his personal vision to elevate his profession by creating a global brand and community, empowering all to see and celebrate their beauty.

As a professional, D’angelo’s expertise extends to beauty, bridal, editorial, commercial, film, TV and private clients. As hair and makeup artist for guests and celebrities on The Wendy Williams Show from 2008 - 2011, D’angelo earned three Daytime Emmy nominations with a win for “Guest Hair” in 2010. Most importantly, in over two decades, D’angelo has developed a body of work that classifies him in the A-list of beauty professionals.  He is currently working with Law & Order SVU (Seasons 17, 18 & 19), Blue Bloods (Season 8), Worst Cooks,/Celebrity, Joy Mangano/IDL, HSN and Pudding Boy Productions.  As an author, D’angelo’s self-published lifestyle and beauty book entitled “Enhanced Beauty” (2016) continues to sell domestically and internationally.