“The history of America is too big for one building.”

“The history of America is too big for one building.” – Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Recently, I had a conversation about the variety of museums in my hometown of Capitol Hill and about the wonderful exhibits surrounding the Washington Mall. The person I spoke with had recently visited, they shared, and they loved it. But they didn’t visit the African American museum because they didn’t like the idea. Why? Because, “I mean, we don’t have a museum for White people,” they contested. “The rest of the museums are diverse,” they said; … Read more

“Ethnic” as “Other”

There’s always a hair section at the supermarket: a section for hair — regular hair, normal hair, perhaps you would call it white women’s hair — and then a section dubbed “ethnic” for the other hair; it’s for the misunderstood hair, the hair that the simple “hair” section cannot provide shelf space for. The “ethnic” section is for black women’s hair. It is separate due to its other-ship. “Hair” and “Ethnic Hair” have been segregated, most presumably because of lingering racist ideologies that are still perpetuated even in the supermarket — it’s not a water fountain, but it’s something. We … Read more