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America I AM: The African American Imprint at National Geographic Museum VIDEO & PHOTOS

February 22, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by the office of talk show host, political commentator and author Tavis Smiley to participate in the bloggers’ preview of the traveling exhibit: America I AM: The African American Imprint at the National Geographic Museum. I was impressed by the extraordinary content of this itinerary exhibit, which celebrates the amazing contributions of Black Americans to this nation.

America I AM: The African American Imprint is a journey through trials and triumphs while exploring nearly 500 years of African American contributions to the economic, political, cultural, and spiritual development of the United States.”


This extraordinary exhibit includes more than 200 historical artifacts showing the rich history of African Americans, from the dungeon doors of the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana to the guitar of Prince, from Aretha Franklin dresses to historical documents of the anti-slavery movement, items belonging to Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Louis Farrakhan, Tupac Shakur and Marvin Gray. This is a must see. This is a video I recorded, so you can have an idea of what this exhibit is about:


America I AM is also a necessary recognition to what African descendants have contributed to the United States, and its content has required an extensive work. “Created in collaboration with leading scholars such as Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West, the exhibition is presented by Tavis Smiley, and organized by Cincinnati Museum Center and Arts and Exhibitions International”

The exhibit has a strong content referring to slavery and the struggle for emancipation, but it ends with a victorious and cheerful journey showing how Blacks turned from being an oppressed class into a strong community and culturally dominant in this country. See my photos:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

All photos and video by Carlos A. Quiroz

Even though this exhibit only focuses in positive facts about African Americans, I thought this could be a good chance to denounce important issues affecting Blacks in the U.S. today, like the mass incarceration of Black men, the illegal drug addictions and the HIV epidemic, to mention some. Another negative aspect? It’s sponsored by the corrupted and abusive corporation Walmart, but then again you have to pay to get in.

Regardless, this is an impressive and unique exhibit that should be visited by all Americans and all peoples who are interested to know the true history of the United States.

“America I AM: The African American Imprint” will be open to the public daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from February 2 through May 1, 2011, at the National Geographic Museum, located at 1145 17th Street NW, in Washington, DC. Use the Dupont Circle and Farragut North Metro Stations.

The exhibition is ticketed for the general public; Adults – $12; Members/military/seniors (over62) / students – $10; Groups (25+) – $8; Children (ages 2-12) – $6; K-12 school groups – $6.

For more information visit the America I AM website, the National Geographic and the Tavis Smiley site as well.


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