Last week, to commemorate African American History Month, DEA Washington Division SAC Jarod Forget hosted a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., for Division employees.
Division employees joined SAC Forget through a wealth of informative and moving galleries and interactive exhibits. The tour included over a mile of walking exhibits depicting the history of African Americans in the U.S.
The museum’s layout is five floors covering the time periods when Africans first arrived in the U.S. in the 15th century through the present day. Starting with an overview of the museum, tour guides explained the meaning and impact of African American history in America from many perspectives. From the first exhibit, Slavery & Freedom, to the recreation of a slave cabin from the Point of Pines Plantation in South Carolina, to walking through an actual Segregation Era train car from about 1918 – the tour was very educational.
The museum offered an insight on the extremely complex story of African American history and culture; one of both uplift and tragedy, with incredibly designed spaces including a vast atrium. The three-level “History” section focused on broad themes of slavery, segregation, and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. They also held some of the oldest and most disturbing material. The “Community” galleries upstairs included large and enticingly designed sections devoted to African Americans in the military, sports, art and politics.
The tour was put together by the DEA Washington’s Diversity Coordinator, Lynette Davis, and was part of the Division’s month-long commemoration of National African American History Month – honoring the contributions and history of the African American community.
“To be successful, we must build upon our foundation of diversity,” said SAC Forget, “This tour helped us learn and more deeply reflect on the accomplishments of African Americans throughout U.S. history, and to consider what diversity will mean to us in the future – a topic of particularly rich context and depth here in our Nation’s Capital.”
The annual commemoration of National African American History Month is part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to diversity. “We are part of the same team, with the same goal – to protect our communities,” said SAC Forget.