I’ve been to D.C. a few times. Until a few years ago, it was particularly exciting because I spent the better part of my childhood entertaining the idea of going into political science. It actually seems fitting that I was welcomed by torrential downpours and what felt like a monsoon (Clinton, Bush, Obama… where are you guys?).
Okay, enough of that! Being that I’ve been before and done the monuments you traditionally see in and around Capitol and Hill, that’s not what I was most interested in photographing. There are a few newer additions to the D.C. landscape worth visiting and that’s what I made sure to snap before the rain hit.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the greatest examples of leadership, honor, and love, but reading the wall of quotes was a solemn moment. Even surrounded by throngs of people, I found myself in complete silence reflecting on the current state of society in America. We haven’t fulfilled his dream and that’s damning.
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History is something everyone considers a “must see.” I have to wait until my next visit to go inside. I can only say that I know it holds stories of some of America’s darkest days in African American history but also portraits of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
For me, I took this photo three days after I had been racially profiled while shopping (for the dress I was wearing while taking the picture). It wasn’t lost on me that the experiences of those in the museum are shared present day experiences for African Americans all over this country. The sad part is, I don’t experience that same racism while traveling abroad. I then contrast that with the glaring difference that was staring me in the face. Someone I once knew, a white male, went to the same museum a few months earlier and thought the past was “embarrassing” but it was beautiful. Let me unpack that. For some, it can be compartmentalized as an untidy part of the past but for others, it’s a very real and ugly reality. A tale of two Americas or maybe just Double Consciousness for myself and other persons of color.
If you can, pop into Georgetown and visit Union Market! There are lots of food options and a cute little boutique shopping store, Salt & Sundry. I found the earrings above by Betsy & Iya. They have books, housewares, jewelry, baby items, and more.
Oh, last but certainly not least! Do not miss Ben’s Chili Bowl. Former President Barack Obama made a visit but so have a lot of celebrities while visiting D.C. I found out why. It is delicious and you will be a happy camper when you leave.