Learning about History in the Nation’s Capital

Learning about History in the Nation’s Capital

“By embracing the belief that change is always possible even in the bleakest of circumstances, African Americans have exemplified a resilient spirit that is also fundamentally American.”

-Quote from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Hope’s eighth graders went to Washington, D.C., earlier this month to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. A century in the making, the museum’s seven floors chart the challenging, yet inspiring, history of a proud and resilient people. In engaging interactive exhibits, students learned about the many African American contributions to our country.

In the Musical Crossroads exhibit, one eighth grader delighted in taking a picture next to Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac Eldorado and learning about how he refined rhythm and blues into the major elements that today characterize rock and roll. Through a Google 3D simulation, students sat in the bus seat of the famed Civil Rights activist, Rosa Parks, and gained some understanding of what it must have felt like to stand against the laws of her state for equal rights. In the Explore More exhibit, Hope’s students were able to travel back in time using the famous Green Book travel guide to find the safe places African Americans ate and slept while driving through the South during segregation. Students were also excited to visit the Sports exhibit where they learned that Jackie Robinson wasn’t the first Black Major League baseball player.

While in our nation’s capital, Hope’s eighth graders also visited the Washington Monument and the White House. One excited student said he had never been to Washington before and enjoyed seeing these important symbols of American government and democratic ideals. The leaders of our middle school ended the day with a delicious dinner at Golden Corral restaurant in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Thanks to all who provide support for experiential learning experiences that deepen understanding of academic concepts at Hope Partnership Middle School.

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