Multi-Media Critique

In “I, Too Sing America,” the New York Times reporter walks the hallways of the newly opened Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. The Museum aims to express that African American history is American history. The moving graphic that shows the Museum’s building, conveys the text that reads that the design of the building was based on a Yoruba crown. However, the moving graphic probably is unnecessary and would express the same thing using a stationary one. The graphic illustrations really help you see the layouts of the floors, which are important as the parts about slavery are held in the lowest floor like how the slave ships held its prisoners deep beneath the decks. The top of the museum depicts culture community and culture and examines the African American communities highest American achievements. The pictures are the justifiably the focal piece of this article because it is a museum intended to show artifacts, but the captions do a great job of providing context and stories about the pieces that may take one out of the article, but I see that as a plus because you can go back and read them after. The pictures that describe that famous politicians like Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson owned slaves reveals a conflicting story of slavery that we are not aware of and I wish there would have been text added to flesh that out. The profiles of living relatives who donated the pieces of history reminds us that people who have been affected by this history are still alive. They take up the whole screen, to take the reader out of the history and into the present. I would have liked to have seen a video that projected or gave audio of the words of African American Culture, because so much of its achievements are verbal and it would have been great to hear James Baldwin, Maya Angelou and Barrack Obama as well as see them. The project ends with a video that depicts the museum from the outside and inside, so you see what it is like to see the Washington mall from behind the bars of the facade from the inside and see the Yoruba crown facade from the outside.

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