Class of 2024 explores National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.

Juniors also visit memorial for Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of their trip


Allison Coyne, Managing Editor

The Class of 2024 traveled to Washington D.C., where they visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

The trip took place on Wednesday, March 8, the same day that the seniors traveled to Washington, D.C. to go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery. The freshmen and sophomores had the day off.

The day began at the Tidal Basin, where students had the opportunity to see the MLK Memorial and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.

Jenna Peters said, “My favorite part about the trip was going to the Tidal Basin and MLK Memorial because it was beautiful. Being able to visit such an important monument was such a great experience.”

The juniors then went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum was divided into four floors, each focusing on a different aspect of African American history.

The first floor covered historical events from the 1400s up to the twenty-first century. The second floor was filled with interactive exhibits. The third floor highlighted African American athletes, scholars, and servicemen. The fourth floor had exhibits about art, music, food, theatre, and film.

These two locations were chosen due to the eleventh grade social studies course in U.S. History.

Trip Coordinator Gretta DeMennato explained, “In APUSH, our course runs from pre-Columbus to 9/11. The Honors US and US course runs from Civil War to Present Day. So much of the history explored was reinforced at the MLK Memorial and NMAAHC.”

During the trip, students also took photographs in order to complete projects assigned in both their English and U.S. History classes.

According to Mrs. DeMennato, this allowed students “to connect their field study experience with the curriculum, study of history, and the promise of America.”

Alex Calicott said, “I really enjoyed that we were able to connect the things that we learned in class to the artifacts and understand the content in a more valuable way.”

In regard to future plans, Mrs. DeMennato said, “The plan is to continue this trip. It is an excellent base for the senior religion course in Human Rights and Social Justice. It can also help with Social Studies electives like Anthropology, Psychology, and US Government and Politics.

Our hope is that in conducting field studies like this, our John Carroll community will grow in knowledge and understanding. This will also continue Pope Francis’ call on us to do our Christian duty to end racism.”

“The trip was inspiring, yet disturbing. It opened my eyes to the way African Americans had been treated throughout our history. However, learning about a different culture and how it has evolved was really interesting,” said Corinne Baikauskas.