*Spoiler Alert*: Slideshow of Trap Mack & Trap Madsen's trip to the National Museum of African American History and culture.
We took as few photo as we could from our trip, for the sake of those who want to experience the museum and its totality for themselves. We limited the amount of photos put in the slideshow to 106. I hope you all enjoy and have a chance to visit the museum for yourself.
- Trap Mack & Trap Madsen 💕
Follow us on our social media profiles
Madsen: Instagram- @MaddTomm | Facebook- Maddie Thomas
Damon: Instagram- @LegalTrapMack, @TrapMackShotit, @LegalTrappingProductionCO | Twitter- @LegalTrapMack | Facebook- Damon Mackin
Reader disclosure: This is a longer opinionated joint-article, highlighting Damon Mackin's and Madsen Thomas's experience from their visit to the Nation Museum of African American History and Culture. *Spoiler Alert* There will be photos of some exhibits in this article.
On March 25, Madsen and myself (Legal Trap Mack) got the chance to travel with a group of students from our university to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Prior to our visit I had a personal obsession with visiting the museum, since last year when I visited the National Museum of American History the exhibit for African American history was smaller exhibit in the corner of the museum. I saw it as a metaphor of how African-Americans have been treated since we were brought to this country. So when I heard they were building a entire museum highlighting African American culture and history, I had to go.
My trip to the African American History and Culture Museum was eye opening. Being Caucasian, I was anxious to go because I knew what I would see would be difficult to take in. Although I certainly do not hold prejudice against another race, I am aware of what happened in regards of the slaving and oppression of African Americans.
If you are given the opportunity to visit this remarkable museum, I highly recommend you take advantage it. There are many shocking and saddening artifacts and information presented within the walls of the museum, but a glimmer of hope can also be provided.
Our visit began in the 1400’s; the start of the transatlantic slave trade. Many people, especially of Damon’s age, and mine appeared to simply glance at the artifacts presented throughout the exhibits. With that being said, we took our time to read the excerpts provided alongside the extensive artifacts. I am extremely happy that we did this because I feel as though I learned so much during my time in the museum. The tour guide informed us that it would take about an hour to get through the “timeline” portion of the museum, however it took Damon and I almost five hours to see everything. Those five hours were well worth it.
Visiting the museum is an experience that I believe everyone, especially people of my race, should undergo. The emotion of embarrassment consumed me while walking through the different exhibits. Embarrassed because of people of my ethnicity destroyed millions of lives, simply because they saw their race as superior. It blows my mind how any individual, let alone an entire group people, could have the mindset that any ethnicity is less than another. It takes pure evil to be able to throw a mass group of humans in a boat, chain them together and treat them like animals for slaughter. As we continued on the journey through time in the museum, we saw and learned about different eras in history. The museum took us from the 1400’s up to present day.
I was excited to enter the portion of the exhibit that focused the Civil Rights Movement, because I am currently writing a unit plans for sixth graders, on the topic. I thought I knew more than I thought about this section in history, but I was wrong. Before visiting the museum, I had a loose grasp on African American History. I would like to attribute this to my schooling growing up. I feel as though my schools, which were predominantly white, did not cover African American history, as they should have.
African Americans have contributed so much and have gone through too much to not be recognized. It’s almost as though people want to erase or shove this part of America’s history under the carpet because of how shameful it is. I think just the opposite. We need to educate people about it. Make the dark history known so that we can better our present and future.
America’s murky past is something everybody needs to acknowledge. If we don’t, how will we be able to progress? For me, the most upsetting part about the museum was the end of the timeline portion. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of every exhibit, but the ending left me hollow. African Americans’ fight for freedom didn’t end with the abolition of slavery, it didn’t end with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it certainly didn’t end at the end of the Civil Rights Movement. African Americans’ fight is still occurring. It is a shame that any human being has to fight for their freedom, safety, and equality. It is a shame that we cannot treat other human beings with respect.
It is a shame that racism is still alive. But it is up to all present generations in this country to change this. Racism is learned and passed down. Nobody is born racist; it is an unacceptable for us to continue teaching our children and fellow humans that one ethnicity is better than another. Look at the past and learn from it, do not repeat it.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” - Gandhi
My initial prejudgments prior to going to the museum were all concerning how Madsen would handle all that the exhibits had to offer. I personally knew what I was getting myself into because my mother made it clear that I should know about the history of our race beyond what I was taught in school. While in high-school, I took a couple of advanced placement history classes that focused more on the history of America (past and present day) more than my previous ones. Although I came in with prior knowledge on some parts of African American history, I learned more from the museum than I did in my entire grade school career.
Being that Madsen and I are a interracial couple, I didn't go into this thinking "If she doesn't sympathize with the trails and tribulations my people went through, then this relationship is over"; I really didn't go into the trip thinking much of anything, but how much knowledge we both were going to get from the experience.
My favorite part of the museum was all of it, but if I had to be more specific it was the photography exhibit (of course), and the popular culture exhibit. These two exhibits showed the beauty that came from the struggle, and how the African American people of this country turned water into wine. It gave me a sense of pride for picking up the camera, because I felt that those who came before me were living through me.
Although we spent majority of the time in the timeline exhibit, it made me feel a sense of depression after leaving it: because as Madsen said, we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to equality issues in our country.
This trip added more fuel to my fire, to make sure that a change is made in this country during my lifetime, for those who will come after I am gone. It was pretty cool to experience this with someone who comes from a completely different place than I do, and still feel that we could be doing more than what we have to work towards the change we want to see.
"All the people like us are we, and everyone else is they" - Rudyard Kipling
Damon Preston Mackin (Legal Trap Mack)
Who am I? : I am exactly who the headline above is addressing: My mom and dad named me Damon, I deemed myself Legal Trap Mack. I am currently 21 years of age, I currently attend Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. I anticipate to graduate in May of 2018 with my Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and a minor in Business Administration.
Where are you from? : I was born in Winston-Salem, NC on December 1, 1995. I lived in Winston-Salem until I was ten years old, due to personal issues my mom, myself, and my brother moved to Frederick, MD. When asked "Where are you from?", I typically tell people I am from Maryland to save them the explanation, since that is where I spent the most developmental parts of my life (ages 10-currently). Nonetheless, both states hold a significant place in my heart.
Why did you start blogging?: I started blogging before I even touched a camera. I saw it as an opportunity to release a portion of the millions of insane thoughts that host themselves in my brain, in hopes to encourage others to do the same. I have always been a person who is not afraid to express themselves, blogging gave me the platform to do just that, while trying to spread a message of encouragement and positivity through the writing skills I have adapted along the way.
What are your goals for your life?: My goal in this lifetime is to be a beacon of positivity for this planet, in order to shape the future for the those who will come after me in this lifetime and the next. This is on of the many reasons I created Legal Trapping Production Company: to create a platform for others who realize life is bigger than me and you, so we can spread a universal message to generations before and after us together.
Madsen Clark Thomas (Legal Trap Madsen)
Who am I?: My name is Madsen Thomas and I am 20 years of age (soon to be 21). I will be graduating in May of 2018 with a Bachelor in University Studies and a minor in Education.
Where am I from?:I was born in Canton, Ohio and lived there my whole life. Although I am from Ohio, the state does not have a significant meaning to me rather it is simply where I lived. I look forward to continuing on with my life and making deeper connections with other areas around our country and even the world.
Why did I start blogging?: I decided to begin blogging because I needed a platform to voice what I believe needs to be said. I feel as though there are too many injustices in our world and even on a smaller scale: our country. These injustices must not be ignored; rather we need to shed light on them. This is why I have decided to be my own voice as well as a voice for others who may not be comfortable speaking out about what they feel is right. I hope you all enjoy what I have to say, and in turn voice your own opinion and start your own discussion because what you have to say DOES matter whether others agree with you or not.
What are my goals in life?: My ultimate goal in this life is to be happy and live the life I was given while spreading the happiness and love of life to others. But as for my more immediate goal, I aim to be an elementary school teacher. I believe my purpose is to help others in whatever way I can and as of now, I see that being through an occupation as an educator. I believe this because as an elementary school teacher, I have the opportunity to change the lives of our future generations and help them get a start at being the best version of themselves that they can be.
Want your voice heard? we need you.
If you a person who has a story to tell, enjoys writing as hobby, or is looking to pursue a career as a writer/journalist: One of Infinity needs you . This media outlet is a place to create positive conversation and have respectful disagreements, to move one step closer in making our planet better for the future.
Oh yea, there are no major qualifications to become a writer for One of Infinity. All we require are the following:
- A clear understanding of the Guidelines to Journalism.
- How to write an AP style article, if you are reporting/covering a specific topic that requires using outside sources.
- Remember once you are a part of a team you just do not represent yourself anymore. This is a blog to create conversation that can discussed in a mature and respectful manor. You have the write to express your beliefs, but there is no need for agenda pushing towards our audience. If a writer does so they will be dismissed immediately.
- As the team grows there will be official bylaws for anyone reporting a newsworthy article.
If you are interested send a copy of your resume, website, portfolio, band camp: basically any resource that visually showcases your abilities to LegalTrappingProductions@gmail.com
Writen by: Damon Mackin & Madsen Thomas
Legal Trapping Production Company.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce to you a good friend of mine, who is also an amazing photographer: Benjamin Van Bloem. Ben is an Eagle Scout, and was an Finalist and Honorable Mention for Photographers Forum Magazine's winter (2016) and spring (2017) contest. His photography style favors a mixture of portraiture and nature shots: but I personally feel like the sky is the limit for this man.
Ben and I met in grade school (I'm not sure what grade) and our relationship developed through high school track and field. After high school, our communication fell off, but we stayed up to date with each other's life adventures through social media. He has travelled abroad to Scotland, and established a name for himself as a photographer. Before I even thought of picking up a camera, Ben was out in the world going photo crazy, and creating some dope art along the way.
Currently Ben is in his junior year at Salisbury University, where he double majors in International Relations and Political Science. When he is not focusing on the books, he is out in the world capturing those moments that we wish we could relive. For those who may be interested in learning more about Mr. Van Bloem, he has a website where he sells prints of his work.
You can follow Ben and his photo adventures on his website and social media profile(s) below.
Ben's Website: http://vanbloemphotos.portfoliobox.net/vanbloemphotography
Instagram: TheRealIrishMan (The Real Irish Man)
Damon Mackin. 22 years of age. Mass Communications major at Shenandoah University 18'. Freelance Journalist/Photographer