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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Friday, America I Am officially rolls out

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The Civic Center's next show, America I AM, is a "four-year touring museum exhibition that will celebrate 400 years of African American contributions to this country." That's right: The creators of America I AM seek to accomplish a literally monumental task — a show that represents, or perhaps merely suggests an outline of, the experience of African Americans as such — through the storytelling intermediary of historical documents and carefully selected objects.

But as an article in the New York Times rightfully points out:

So much has happened that the simple tale told here isn’t enough. Just putting Malcolm X’s Koran on display doesn’t inform the viewer about what issues were being debated in the 1960s in the black civil rights movement, or illuminate the political rage of that era, or provide some idea of the pain and of the stakes.

If you're curious, read on; the NYT article is actually complimentary, despite what the quote above may suggest out of context. I'll be on the lookout for reviews by local writers more capable than myself …. Exhibition hours vary, starting this Fri., June 12 at 10 a.m.

In the meantime, I can't help but marvel at the America I AM SuperTruck (pictured above). Piloted by an educational trucker husband-and-wife team, Dan and Caryn Fuller, the 18-wheel big rig will take a sample of the exhibition on a parallel tour throughout the continental U.S.

(Photo courtesy AmericaIAM.org)

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