Up-Country Girl: A personal journey and truthful portrayal of African culture

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Woolworth officials worried it could hurt their brand. Some African Americans objected that it was Disneyesque, emphasizing the nobility of the students rather than the racism they were fighting. All that conflict about a single exhibit. Now imagine a collection of nearly 40, objects. The exhibits have a strong point of view but are based on rigorous scholarship. And even though the museum speaks primarily with a black voice, the approach is meant to draw in visitors of all backgrounds.

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How would I have justified it? Some who donated artifacts say that was part of the attraction. For Olympic medalist Carl Lewis, the appeal of the museum is that it offers a kind of immortality for his accomplishments and his story. Lewis said part of his motivation was to make sure people remember not just his medals but also the story behind them. Even objects that represent triumph have the contextual backdrop of overcoming daunting barriers.

It is a stunner of a car. Lipstick red with whitewall wheels and a hood ornament that gleams like a chandelier.

African-American literature

During filming for the documentary Chuck Berry: Hail! Louis—the same theater that had refused him entry when he was a boy. In the museum Berry will be remembered as a pioneering guitarist whose music appealed to black and white teenagers, setting the sonic template for future legends, including Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, and Dave Grohl. From the outset the goal was to create a new collection rather than poach what little other museums had. The curators wanted artifacts that represented historic milestones but would reveal those stories in a personal way. Ordinary items to tell extraordinary stories.

They found a great many. A slim handmade tin box that protected the freedom papers carried by Joseph Trammell, a former slave emancipated in the s. Shards of stained glass found by civil rights activist Joan Mulholland in the gutter outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, after it was bombed in by white supremacists. A racket used by tennis champion Althea Gibson, who in the early s was the first African American to compete in the U.

Nationals and Wimbledon.

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Tiny shackles made to be worn by a slave child. The curators say their job will never be done. One of the most extraordinary ordinary items has a direct link to the dark chapter when blacks were bought and sold as property. It also is a reminder of how enslaved blacks desperately clung to the hope for freedom. Ellis stopped so quickly he spilled the soft drink in his hand. He called her immediately but was leery. The curators were getting used to dead ends and people looking for a payday or instant attention. The swampy stretch of Southampton County, Virginia, where Turner led a bloody slave revolt in was a short drive from where Ellis grew up.

He had heard rumors about Turner memorabilia handed down among white families.

A Brief History of Slavery That You Didn't Learn in School

A hat. A sword. The Bible, if it truly existed, would be central to Nat Turner history. Turner had been a widely sought after preacher and a deeply religious man who believed he had visions and received signs from God. He had taught himself to read and carried a Bible when he delivered sermons or baptized enslaved men and women. He may have carried it as his slave posse went from plantation to plantation, freeing slaves and killing at least 55 white people, including women and children. Missing both its covers, with fragile, dog-eared pages, it was about the size of a dime novel.

The Bible has made an incredible journey. It spent decades displayed on a family piano. Eventually it was wrapped in the dishcloth and tucked in a closet and later placed in a safe-deposit box. A place to heal. Placing any object within the walls of the Smithsonian amplifies its significance. It is a cultural imprimatur, a way of saying: This matters. When he died in , he was found alone on a park bench in New York City. He had been beaten. Now millions will learn about the heroic role he had in American history. The African-American story has been treated as an afterthought, an asterisk, relegated to one month a year—and the shortest month at that.

But as the nation continues to debate its core values, this history has potent lessons to teach us. If one wants to understand the impact and tensions that accompany the changing demographics of our cities, where better than the literature and music of the African-American community? There is nothing about the new museum that suggests an afterthought. The asterisk has become an exclamation point. Magazine Feature.

vaedenmososil.tk A new museum in Washington shows the personal side of African Americans' suffering, perseverance, and triumphs. Read Caption. Ambrotype of Frederick Douglass This portrait of one of the most famous abolitionists, orators, and writers of the 19th century will be on exhibit in the museum. Understanding the power of images to convey dignity and alter how African Americans were seen, he frequently sat for portraits. By Michele Norris.

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Artifact Photographs by Grant Cornett. This story appears in the October issue of National Geographic magazine. McVey recalls what he said next. You have history. Used on tour until the mids, it returned for a tour. They are renowned warriors and pastoralists who for hundreds of years roamed the wild of East Africa. Maasai driving cattle into the ngorongoro crater - Vince Smith.

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Maasinta, the first Maasai, received a gift of cattle from Ngai — the sky god - who lowered them to earth on a leather thong. Since that time, cattle have been viewed as sacred and their value is rivalled only by the value of their children, indeed, a large herd and a large family are the mark of a truly successful Maasai.

The savannah land that makes up the famous parks of Ngorongoro , Amboseli , Serengeti , the Masai Mara and Tsavo was all once the nomadic range of the Maasai people. Despite the pressures of the modern world, the Maasai have fought to preserve their way of life and as a result, any east African safari is awash with the sight of colourful Maasai, herding their cattle, walking along roads or dancing the adumu.

Famous maasai mara - Michaei Herrera. Amongst the most famous Maasai traditions are the jumping dance, the wearing of colourful shuka, spitting and the drinking of blood. The adamu is the jumping dance which is performed as part of the initiation right when young adults become men. Accompanied by song, pairs of men take turns to see who can jump the highest.


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The ritual is performed to show prowess and fitness and it forms a part of the celebration when the boys become eligible bachelors. He who jumps the highest attracts the best bride. The famous maasai jumping dance 'adumu' - Michael. The vibrant coloured cloth worn by the Maasai is known as shuka. Red is considered to be a sacred colour and represents blood and is the basic colour for all shuka. In addition to these qualities, it also protects the Maasai from wild animals. Orange is for hospitality, warmth and friendship, blue is for the sky which provides the rains for the cattle.

Green is nourishment and production and yellow is for fertility and growth. Together, these vibrant African clothes, are what make the Maasai so distinctive in East Africa. While in western traditions saliva is a strictly private and personal matter, in Maasai culture and tradition it is considered extremely good luck to be shared. When shaking the hand of an elder, it is important to spit in one's palm and to ward off evil spirits, one must spit onto a new-born babies head.

Spitting is one thing, drinking blood completely another. Maasai kenya - Ninara. The Maasai revere their cattle and for this reason, the letting of blood causes no lasting harm to their bovine companions. Himba mud dwelling namibia - James Whatley. The desolate Kunene region of northwest Namibia is home to a resilient people called the Himba.

Hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, the Himba descend from the southward migrating Herero of Angola. Unforgiving namibia home of the himba - Marc Veraart.

Life for the Himba revolves around the holy fire called Okuruwo. The fire burns at the centre of the village and is never allowed to go out and each family has a fire-keeper whose job it is to tend the sacred blaze. Himba children with traditional hairstyles - Michael Haebner. The Himba are a nomadic African tribe and traditionally travel from waterhole to waterhole tending their cattle and goats. Day to day tasks are traditionally split between the sexes with the women doing the hard tasks of carrying water, milking cows, building homes and raising children while the men handle politics and tend livestock.

This division even extends to the use of water for bathing which is reserved exclusively for men.