If you were following my tweets on Twitter last Thursday, you may have noticed the buzz that I was creating using the #americaiam hashtag. I along with the lovely Jennae of Green Your Decor and Renée of Cutie Booty Cakes had the pleasure of experiencing the America I AM exhibit first hand with African drummers, dancers, and delicious African cuisine in the mix. It was an amazing experience, one that I will cherish for a lifetime.
So let me tell you a little about America I Am. It is basically a four-year touring museum exhibit that showcases some of the most memorable moments in African American history over the past 500 years. The 15,000 square-foot exhibit houses over 200 artifacts that represent the many contributions African Americans have made to America. Tavis Smiley is the brains behind it all. He worked hard seeking sponsors such as Walmart, Microsoft, and Northern Trust and museums and celebs who would be willing to part with their prized belongings and artifacts temporarily. Would you believe that the 13th Amendment flew to Atlanta – in its own seat? Sure did!
It is said that some of the displays in this exhibit are sure to jerk tears. I believe so if you are experiencing the exhibit in a small group and not among a large crowd. We were there during the opening and Gala, so there were times when we had to keep it moving. There was bonafide press everywhere with their big video cameras with fluffy microphones attached, and Canon EOS’s with huge lenses, external flashes with fancy filters attached. They put my Canon Rebel and Flip Mino HD to shame, lol! I did completely stop at Frederick Douglass’ coats, seeing them was just amazing. And the music and sound effects really set the scenes in each of the galleries.
I definitely learned a lot and I feel like such a heathen because there is still so much that I don’t know. That’s why I think this exhibit is such a great opportunity for the youth who are getting the bare minimum of African American history crammed in to Black History Month. Touring the America I AM exhibit as part of a lesson being taught in school would be great for kids. Speaking of the youth, 100,000 America I Am tickets have been donated to local children in Atlanta courtesy of Northern Trust. How cool is that?
The American I AM exhibit will be at the Atlanta Civic Center until September 6th, 2009. If you are in the Atlanta area, definitely check it out. This exhibit is not exclusive. It is open to everyone, so please don’t feel intimated if you are not African American! Tickets are only $12 per adult, $10 if purchased at Walmart stores in Georgia. As Tavis Smiley said, that’s cheaper than tickets to go see Madea, lol! But seriously, what’s $10-$12 for an experience that will last a lifetime? If you are unable to make it to the Atlanta exhibit, you can also visit americaiam.org to explore the online exhibit.
I really enjoyed myself during the America I AM preview and Gala. Everything was simply fantastic. Walmart, I thank you for such a wonderful experience!
I tried my best to get some decent shots while maneuvering through the bonafide press, lol. You guys are more than welcomed to view the photos here!