African-American History Missing

, Spencer Irvine, 5 Comments

Field trips to museums in Washington, D.C. are nothing new but the latest archive in our nation’s capital may break records set by other museums in the Smithsonian network.

The much-heralded National African-American Museum of History and Culture, part of the historic Smithsonian Institution and museums, does not live up to the historical accuracy it promises.

photo credit Spencer Irvine

photo credit Spencer Irvine

Here are important historical figures who we looked for, but could not find any mention of in the nation’s newest museum:

  1. George Washington Carver, a botanist and inventor
  2. Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice
  3. Clarence Thomas, who replaced Marshall as the lone black American on the Supreme Court
  4. Matthew Henson, who explored the North Pole
  5. Condoleezza Rice, except for a joint photo with Colin Powell, no mention of her accomplishments as a National Security Advisor and being the first black woman to hold that position
  6. Colin Powell, whose sole appearance was in a joint photo with Condoleezza Rice and there was no mention of his accomplishments as the first black Secretary of State
  7. Astronaut Guion Bluford, the first African-American in space
  8. Tim Scott, the first African-American U.S. Senator in a Southern state since the Reconstruction
  9. Edward Brooke, a black Republican who was the first U. S. senator elected by popular vote
  10. Thomas Sowell, a conservative intellectual
  11. The Al Sharpton-Tawana Brawley controversy, where Brawley accused four white men of rape but it was discovered that the accusation was false
  12. Joycelyn Elders, the first African-American U.S. Surgeon General
  13. Josiah Henson, a slave-turned-free-man-and-speaker who escaped to Canada and became a well-known public speaker against slavery
photo credit Spencer Irvine

photo credit Spencer Irvine

Moreover, we could not even find any mention of the following sports culture and pop culture icons in this cultural museum:

  1. O.J. Simpson, the NFL star-turned-pop culture icon after the infamous White Bronco car chase and trial acquittal
  2. Willie Mays, a Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder and world champion
  3. Lynn Swann, a Pro Football Hall of Fame and Super Bowl-winning wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. Bo Jackson, a two-sport athlete in the NFL and MLB
  5. Barry Sanders, a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back with the Detroit Lions
  6. Magic Johnson, a Basketball Hall of Fame basketball player who became the face of the AIDS epidemic
  7. Deion “Primetime” Sanders, a flashy two-sport athlete in the NFL and MLB
  8. Denzel Washington, a prominent, award-winning actor
  9. Halle Barry, an important actress figure in Hollywood
  10. Harry Belafonte, a legendary actor in his heyday
  11. Satchel Paige, a legendary pitcher in the Negro Leagues

There was one mention of Doug Williams, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Washington Redskins, but it was a lone photo on the wall and did not explain his accomplishment in detail.

Also, the Gettsyburg Address, given by President Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War battle of Gettysburg, was also missing from displays and exhibits. Another missing piece in the museum was the ad, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” which was an effort to get black children education scholarships. There was no mention of the rape hoax at Duke University, where a black female wrongly accused the Duke men’s lacrosse team of rape and it ruined the lives of the accused.

Other aspects of history that were missing included the lack of mentioning that African Americans were Republican politicians after the Civil War, in addition to mentioning Dr. Ben Carson’s political affiliation, the lack of mention of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and the “War on Poverty” under President Lyndon B. Johnson.