America We Are

America We Are

Ranada's Reads and Reels after the exhibit!
Ranada's Reads and Reels after the exhibit!

Some of the participants of Ranada’s Reads and Reels visited the America I Am exhibit Sunday afternoon, and it was definitely a real treat!  If you haven’t already, go check it out!  You can get discounted tickets from the customer service counter at Walmart!

This exhibit, the brainchild of Tavis Smiley, was full of learning points.  I have a list of items I plan to research.   Walking through this collection of black historical artifacts definitely served as a reminder that we come from a rich background of ingenuity, determination, and intelligence.  As one of my friends said — “It flows through our veins.”

One thing I took away from it that I never overtly thought about was that the slaves not only provided the free labor that made the United States grow into a super power–they also supplied TECHNIQUES.  It wasn’t just about their physical attributes.  They had the knowledge to go with it.  They weren’t trained once they got here.  They were exploited for much more than how much they could lift.  It’s funny because you know things like Eli Whitney and his cotton gin, but it wasn’t until I walked in there that I really thought about how creative and smart we are as it relates to the success of this country.  For goodness sake, we turned RICE into BASKETS.  With my fist pumped in the air, I gladly accept the torch. 🙂

I’ll leave you with a quote.  “The value of slaves was greater than the dollar value of all America’s banks,  all of America’s railroads, and all of America’s manufacturing put together.” -Dr. James Oliver Horton

We all know the answer, but it never hurts to keep asking the question–Would America be what it is without black people?  NOPE!  Now go check it out!

P.S. Ironically, I’ve been reading Tavis Smiley’s Hard Left and here are two quotes that resonated.

“Every race and every nation should be judged by the best it has been able to produce, not by the worst.”  – James Weldon Johnson

“The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal.  The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.  Not failure, but low aim is sin.” – Benjamin E. Mays

Reach for the stars, friends!

3 thoughts on “America We Are

  1. Before going to the “America I Am” exhibit, I thought I was going to be mad at the majority race. Instead I left the exhibit feeling empowered. I realized what a strong and innovative people my ancestors were. I left with a restored hope. I realized that I have a significant responsibility to those who will come after me.


  2. Did you find the turn from political history to musical history interesting? It seemed to take us from Columbus to Brown v. Board and then talk only about music through 2009? It mentioned Shirley Chisholm and Thurgood Marshall but nothing about Barack, and a negative about Clarence Thomas. No Colin, no Condoleezza either. Great exhibit overall though, I learned more about the economics of slavery than I ever learned in a classroom.


  3. I saw Barack, Colin, and Condi. They were all in the political room. But yeah I did find it interesting that music was the only room that had an extended history into the present. But whose fault is that? The makers of the exhibit? Or us?


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