Having grown up in California, a large part of our education was about the crappy things we whites did to the indigenous peoples of California. It was a large part of our elementary education learning about the horrible stuff we did and about the cultures of the people we screwed over.

What we never really learned was how we (as a nation) did the same (and worse) to African Americans. We got bits and pieces - slavery, civil rights ... but never was the entire history of our maltreatment and subjugation of black people ever put all together as a way to help us understand how we have massively screwed over black americans.

Today I went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture - and had a massive a-ha moment. It never hit me till today what it was like after the slaves were freed. I never put all the pieces together to really understand how fucked up all of that was. I wish everyone (i.e., white people) could learn about that full history to really understand everything from slavery till today.

I’m still reeling, so I won’t say any more - but if you have a chance to go, go. It’s not hard to get same-day tickets on the web. Plan a large chunk of time, and start downstairs. Try to go on a less crowded day/time if you can. And try not to collapse into a sobbing puddle when you get to the Obama exhibit.