This past Sunday, I spent the day at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. The timing was perfect: you have to sign up for tickets weeks in advance—you need a little luck on your side. And luckily, I was able to scoop tickets, not knowing the landscape of what October had in store. October can sneak up on you and be quite the doozy for me—coming off of what’s usually a hectic calendar in September here at BSR, you’d expect things to be a little more relaxed, right?
Pepper in everything else: other gigs, real-life shenanigans, kicking empathy into overdrive so you can support loved ones who are going through it, too. By the time Sunday arrived, I needed a break, but not one of those that involve blankets and copious amounts of coffee and marathoning my latest TV comfort food Midnight Diner. Nah, I needed something much deeper. I needed to reconnect to my roots.
I don’t know if you’ve been to the museum or if you have any interest, but I will say that the NMAAHC is both devastating and revitalizing. Seeing the context of history in one place, navigating the museum along that thorough timeline, and seeing how far an enslaved people have come is staggering, to say the least. Even if this isn’t your experience, I encourage you to find your way there if you can.
In the midst of chaos, especially the kind we can’t control at all, I was able to see how my ancestors journeyed. They had so far to go, and I am deeply grateful for what paths have been laid out for me as a result of their courage, their suffering, their sacrifice, and all. My trip served as a reminder of how to navigate my own journey, which I think can be a difficult task in our world today.