I’m Black, But I’m Also an American

For four years I attended a historically black university in Charlotte, North Carolina. Looking back I realize that it was the best decision that I could have made. The education and experiences that I received at Johnson C. Smith University completely immersed me within African American culture. It was revitalizing. After graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C. to attend graduate school. The experience is different, but still just as liberating.

At the beginning of the semester, Emily, a classmate of mine, pointed out how diverse all of the students were in our Public Communication Practicum course at American University. At that moment I fully noticed how different we all were. Emily was right. There were so many different shades of skin color, eye color, textures of hair, and accents. It’s clear that we all don’t have the same heritage, but never until now have I wondered how my heritage connected with everyone else’s. It was in that same class that I learned about the coalition of the National Museum of the American People (NMAP). NMAP is a museum that would collectively tell our story as one, the American people. It would represent everyone’s heritage and the journey their ancestors took to arrive to America.

When I learned about NMAP, I thought back to what Emily said about our classroom’s diversity. There we were sitting in one room, working together, and we had no idea of the connection of all of our different ancestors’ journeys here. My appreciation for NMAP goes deeper than learning the stories’ of my classmates and friends’ ancestors’ journeys to America.

In order for NMAP to become established, we as Americans must encourage the men and women of Congress to cosponsor the House Congressional Resolution 63. Their support of Resolution 63 will help with the formation of a bipartisan Presidential Commission to study the establishment of the National Museum of the American People. We need to convince the leadership and members of the Natural Resources Committee to approve this resolution. Once we encourage these men and women to support the Commission, the development stages of NMAP can begin. This museum will show the world not only how we all connect, but how we’re all Americans.

Show your support and sign the petition for the National Museum of the American People!

Also, check out NMAP’s website at www.nmap2015.com. It also has an amazing WordPress that shares pictures of people’s ancestors and stories of heroic journeys to America. You can also check it out on Facebook and follow it on Twitter (@nmap2015).

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3 thoughts on “I’m Black, But I’m Also an American

  1. elissa field says:

    Erica, interesting. I hadn’t heard of this before, and it’s been a theme lots of us have been discussing lately – ways we’re diverse, in ways healthy and unhealthy, and how we’re all growing (or not) as a culture because of it. Thanks for your post!

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