A new D.C. destination


In a move that I consider the school field-trip equivalent to scoring Hamilton tickets, a colleague managed to get timed passes for our entire junior class to visit the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History & Culture. We boarded buses bright and early on the first day back after spring break (bonus: also first day after Daylight Savings Time began) for the 2 1/2 hour trip. For close to three hours, over 90 kids and about 10 teachers were immersed in this fascinating, almost overwhelming museum, and everyone came out with the same verdict: "We wanted to stay longer!" There is so much to see, and as several of us noted, so much to READ in the exhibits and on the gallery walls. I spent all of my time in the history galleries, which take up the three below-ground floors. Next time I'll explore the upper galleries, which hold what a guide told me would be "lighter fare." Although the museum was packed with visitors--many of them children--everyone was deeply engaged with what they were seeing, and there was an atmosphere of energy, interaction, and respect. Here are a few images from my visit.