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Museum is The Best Evidence

by Yiming Liu 11 months ago in history

Telling History by Exhibitions

Museum is The Best Evidence
Photo by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash

History refers to the systematic recording, research and interpretation of the past events and activities of human society and the behaviors of these events. Learning history enables us to understand the life of our ancestors, learn the knowledge created by our ancestors, stimulate our creative thinking, constantly innovate and improve, and promote the progress and development of history. Human beings are constantly advancing in the process of continuous learning, and we are also creating history in the process of life. The museum is a place for collecting, displaying and researching the objects representing the natural and human cultural heritage. Dr. Bunch creates this museum that is full of “facts” and “evidence” to represent and interpretate the African American culture and history.

NMAAHC is the national museum in the United States dedicated to recording and displaying African American life, history and culture aimed to highlight the African American community's struggle for equal rights and their contribution to American society. One of the fascinating exhibitions for me is “The Tulsa Race Riot and Three of Its Victims”. This is a manuscript entitled "The Tulsa Race Riots and Their Three Victims" by B.C. Franklin. This was written ten years after the Tulsa riots of 22 August 1931 and describes the Events of the Tulsa riots witnessed by the author. These pages contain accounts of Franklin's witness to the killing of three people by a mob. This is evidence that recorded one of the important riots activity during the revolution of African Americans. This exhibit shows us the cruelty of the black movement, and the revolution was not plain sailing. This is also the historical evidence of Tulsa riots in 1931. In addition, From what Tuchman, Carr said: “should or perhaps can history be written while it is still smoking?” In my opinion, I agree with Tuchman,Carr. Time will never stop. What happens in the moment will become history in the next second. although Dr.Bunch tells the history and culture of African American in the United States took place in the past few hundred years, but this does not affect the history being known. Just as yesterday's presidential debate has become history. I don't think it's a problem when history happens. The problem is whether people think that period of history is good or bad, whether it should be widely circulated or buried forever. Dr.Bunch perfectly and successfully used the museum to show us the culture and history of African American in the United States. Therefore, I think modern history and major events that are happening should be well recorded, because in the near future, these will become the history of people's research and learning.

Dr.Bunch said: “Physical collection is always an indivisible and important part of museum and history”. He selected many physical objects to show people what happened at that time, including some special and meaningful events. The museum combines a lot of historical evidence and objects to tell history, rather than just retelling the history written in the book to people. Because these actual objects are the best evidence. I choose “The Tulsa Race Riot and Three of Its Victims” because this is a good example of physical and historical evidence of The Tulsa Race Riot. Acorrding to the quote I choose, this exhibition has the process of the Tusla riot written on it and it is a physical item that is preserved from 1941.

As a historian, we should respect history. We need to stand at the point of view of that time, we can objectively analyze the significance and influence of the events that happened at that time, and explore and confirm the historical description of a certain person's event from a variety of documents or physical historical objects that are related. In addition to the amount of knowledge you should have, you have to put aside all prejudices and treat history fairly. So as to restore the true nature of history. Every single exhibition in the museum is “ evidence”. We should face up to this period of history, respect what happened and learn from it, because in the process of understanding history, we are learning history.



Bunch III, Lonnie G. A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History

and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2019.

Carr, E.H. “The Historian and His Facts,” What is History? New York: Vintage Books, 1961 1-2

Tuchman, Barbara. “ When Does History Happen,” Practicing History: Selected Essays. New York:

Ballantine Books, 1981. 25-32.


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