Liberation to White House Tour

Time Travel Tour to 1848 Time Travel Tour to the National Museum of African American History & Culture

The tour begins in the shadow of The National Museum of African American History & Culture whose three-tiered ornamental bronze-colored cast-aluminum lattice architecture, its African welcoming porch, and its exhibitions, combine to give you a first sense and spirit of Liberated Americans of African Descent.

This building stands as a milestone, one in a long line of such buildings tracing the advance of America towards embracing its destiny to build unity in diversity with justice and equality for all. 121 years ago in 1895, the "Negro Building" was built temporarily in Atlanta at the Cotton States and International Exposition, just 30 years after the end of 250 years of state sponsored kidnapping and imprisonment of Americans of African descent within industrial scale concentration camps. On the Exposition's "Negro Day," on December 26 1895, to nearly 5000 Americans, Rev. J. W. E. Bowen famously gave his "Appeal to the King." In this very modern sounding oration he described not only the significance of these magnificently housed milestones, but also to where they direct our collective gaze.

"The erection and equipment of the Negro building; the Negro's place of usefulness and honor, in this most notable of southern expositions and the general satisfaction expressed with his accomplishments are all additional marks of unpreceived but positive changes in society...With regard to the Negro's place in American life, it was formerly stated that he was only fit for servitude...The Negro's place will be what he makes for himself, just as the place of every people is what that people makes for itself, and he will be no exception to the rule...These simple results that may be seen in the Negro building are from a people just thirty years in freedom. They represent many spheres of labor and enterprise and show what may be accomplished under a more perfect system of life and labor. They show, moreover, that the Negro has been an apt and faithful student of his teachers in the mechanism of his skill as well as in the intellectual product of his brain...The Negro's present days of infancy and of small beginnings are no criterion to measure his future by. The depths from which he has come and the obstacles surrounding him must be remembered when expressing judgment of him...To understand the rapid strides that the Negro has taken one must know the pit from which he was digged, and the rock form which he was hewn" - Rev. Bowen

This tour seeks to provide you with that knowledge to understand this achievement, this milestone museum. To travel back through time to the pit itself, and to witness firsthand the death blows given to those manacles of monstrous horror and racism from which we continue to work towards reconciliation from. Rev. Bowen heralded a new class of Americans of African Descent who would separate themselves from their enslaved past, ushering in a culture of arts, educations and ownership, setting out a broad vision for the “New Negro” leading directly to the Harlem Renaissance which gave birth to the 1907 African American designed, built and paid for "Negro Building" at the Jamestown Exposition, and thereafter the 1915 collective efforts of the 218,000 African Descent American veterans of the Civil War who envisioned and began the collection of funds to build this present building. Their National Memorial Association represented apart of the National Negro Renaissance which was led at the time by Washington DC's Dr. Alain Locke who demanded recognition of a high level of African Descent American culture even as the War Veteran's themselves were denied the honor of marching down pennsylvania Ave on the 50th anniversary of their victorious war over their enslavers. These buildings imply an outspoken advocacy of dignity and a refusal to submit quietly to the practices of the enslavement continuation laws which were enacted to maintain key components of the vile injustices which large segments of America worked to foster.

African American communities and individuals across the nation participated in 2008 during the museum's 'Save Our African American Treasures' program which toured the country. These early meetings resulted in the museum gaining access to incredible artifacts of the Liberation to White House Tour, including the Shawl and Hymnal of Harriet Tubman and the Bible of Nat Turner to name just a few.

As we prepare to visit the places and times when those artifacts became historic, turn your gaze to the buildings immediate north where the White House which held an August 10 1863 meeting of President Lincoln and a self-liberated American of African Descent Mr. Frederick Douglass. The topics were serious, the unequal pay of African Descent American soldiers, the excecution and reenslavement of captured African Descent soldiers. Lincoln began with the claim that “the employment of colored troops … could not have been successfully adopted at the beginning of the war.” Although the wisdom of enlisting colored troops was still untested and was a “serious offense” to popular prejudice, the president argued, colored troops “had larger motives for being soldiers than white men” and “ought to be willing to enter the service upon any condition.” The fact that they received lower pay was a “necessary concession to smooth the way” and one that would ultimately be corrected. Following the meeting Douglass returned to recruiting for the Union Army which helped lead the Union Army to victory and liberate 4 million Americans from enslavement.

Mrs. Harriet Tubman will invite you to come visit her Eastern Shore Maryland birthplace and where and how she escaped from enslavement there and helped almost a hundred others do the same. During the war many of those who could not escape prior, joined the Union Army to liberate their family members who had been sold south, and one of their Captains, Wallace A. Bartlett, of Company I of the 19th USCT will also join us on this journey. This time travel will take us from the Eastern shore Douglas escaped from to President Barak Obama's return to that same White Houe room on the opposite side of the desk from which Frederick sat. This is a journey to witness the liberation, the self-emancipation, the enlistment in the Army of Americans of African Descent and how that experience contributes to the heroic battles which remain.

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Mattaponi Tax Payment Museum Opened in 2016

September 24th 2016, That date marks the opening ceremony of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The opening ceremony certainly was a moment of celebration as even President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were amongst the special guests.

This tour is not a commemoration of the past as much it is a celebration of African American achievement extending into the future. The tour is part of a reconciliation process with peoples of African Descent — acknowledging our joint past, but moving forward in justice, love and truth. To cross the gap of knowledge and understanding requires a deep and profound immersion into truth, such as this time travel strives to provide.

President Obama's speech provides an eloquent introduction to this Museum and the Tour: "Today, as so many generations have before, we gather on our National Mall to tell an essential part of our American story, one that has at times been overlooked. We come not just for today but for all time...

And by knowing this other story, we better understand ourselves and each other. It binds us together. It reaffirms that all of us are American. That African American history is not somehow separate from our larger American story; it’s not the underside of the American story. It is central to the American story. That our glory derives not just from our most obvious triumphs but how we’ve rested triumph from tragedy and how we’ve been able to remake ourselves again and again and again, in accordance with our highest ideals.

Yes, African Americans have felt the cold weight of shackles and the stinging lash of the field whip, but we’ve also dared to run North and sing songs from Harriet Tubman’s hymnal. We’ve buttoned up our Union blues to join the fight for our freedom. We’ve railed against injustice for decade upon decade; a lifetime of struggle and progress and enlightenment that we see etched in Frederick Douglass’s mighty leonine gaze."

Tour outside the Museum

As you await your tour enjoy the magnificent National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Looking north from the building, visitors can see the White House, where the Tour will begin with the meeting of Frederick Douglass and President Lincoln in 1863. Rising to the east beyond the National Mall is the U.S. Capitol, where enslavement was legalized and overthrown. And to the west is a monument to Abraham Lincoln whose counterparts monuments in this great liberation struggle we will encounter on the Tour.

Please make your way to the building’s main entrance which is a welcoming porch, which has architectural roots in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora, especially the American South and Caribbean. You should approach the porch from the mall side, where the Washington monument rises. In a reenactment of the forced Atlantic kidnapping, you will cross a bridge over a body of water before reaching the shelter of the museum's extended entry porch. "The porch is a welcome gesture, even if you don’t go into the museum," lead designer David Adjaye says. The broad porch embodies the hospitality offered at even the humblest Southern residence. And from it you can reflect upon the distance and nearness to Africa from where the imprisonment to which you will travel back in time to escape from.

The video below shows you a recreation of the last view of Africa that many prisoners last saw, to haunt them as they suffer in the American State Sponsored Concentration camp system. Wait under the porch looking out at the symbolic waters of the Atlantic for Harriet Tubman and Captain William Bartlett your living historians.

Tour inside the Museum

If your stay in DC permits, we hope you can return to appreciate the many Exhbits inside the museum as well. The museum's slavery and freedom exhibit, explores the complex story of slavery and freedom which rests at the core of America's shared history and this Liberation tour. The exhibition begins in 15th century Africa and Europe, extends up through the founding of the United States, and concludes with the nation’s transformation during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Through powerful objects and first person accounts, visitors encounter both free and enslaved African Americans’ contributions to the making of America and explore the economic and political legacies of the making of modern slavery. The exhibition emphasizes that American slavery and American freedom is a shared history and that the actions of ordinary men and women, demanding freedom, transformed our nation.

Priceless objects provide you with a personal experience with the tour you just took. One cannot view Harriet Tubman’s silk lace and linen shawl, given to her by Queen Victoria in 1897 for her heroism, without contemplating her escape across the Choptank River. The museum also pays its respects to Frederick Douglass,with a first edition of the “slave narrative,” where he provided his invaluable recording of his dramatic imprisonment, education and self-liberation from the Wye Concentration Camp which you lived on this tour. Such powerful artifacts and your time travel tour bring to life the stories of inhumanity and terror, and of resistance, resilience and survival. Objects and the tour open up conversations and dialogue and provide a space for reconciliation by reaching out beyond ourselves to recognize a shared past.

Time Travel Reservations

The following departures are available for you and your friends or family:
African American History Month Liberation Tour on February 18 2017 from 8am to 4pm EST in Washington DC
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