The National Museum of African American History and Culture

stmuseumproject41447720452 (Source: Ricky Carioti, Washington Post)

On Monday, November 16, 2015 I had the pleasure of attending a special ceremony for the National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The ceremony was organized to thank donors for their generous monetary donations and to give the public a glimpse into what is to come. The evening was simply magical with speeches from political dignitaries, Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director of the NMAAHC, poetry, prose, and beautiful music including a performance from internationally renowned gospel recording artist BeBe Winans. The ceremony was another shining example of the great strides and accomplishments made by blacks from the African Diaspora.

With a $250 million price tag, the NMAAHC was established by Congress in December 2003[1]. The idea for the museum was first born in 1915 and one hundred years later, the idea has become a reality. The 400,000 square foot building will feature 11 exhibitions to include a 1913 bible once owned by a Buffalo Solider, belongings from a Tuskegee Airman, and Harriet Tubman’s hymnal[2].

The NMAAHC sits squarely on the National Mall in all its regalia as magnificent as the people it represents. Its exterior walls are made of bronze symbolic of a crown from the Yoruba culture[3]. It is juxtaposed with the Washington Monument which sits a few hundred feet away directly across the street. One white, the other brown. One built by slaves, the other built by experienced architects. The past. The future. A collision of space, time, and history.

On September 24, 2016, the doors of the National Museum for African American History and Culture will officially open. If the November 2015 event was any indication of what’s to come, hold onto your hats, bring plenty of tissue, and make sure your smartphone is charged.

Be safe,

L.J. Follow me on Twitter: @CrimeDoc1213

#BlackHistoryEVERYDAY #BlackHistory #BlackHistoryMonth #NMAAHC #HarrietTubman #LonnieBunch #Smithsonian #Museum #history #WashingtonDC #DC #DMV #NationalMall #ljsamuel #deardiary

[1] McGlone, P. (2016, January 30). Lonnie Bunch has eight months to get ready for African American museum opening. Retrieved from

[2] McGlone, P. (2016, January 30). Lonnie Bunch has eight months to get ready for African American museum opening. Retrieved from

[3] Wikipedia. (2016, February 4). National museum of African American history and culture. Retrieved from

Note: reprint from Black History Program at The Church of Our Lady and St. Basil, Toronto, Ontario

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween It’s that time of year again.  The days are shorter, the leaves are turning brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow and the mornings are crisp and cool.  As fall begins so too does the holiday season.  For those that participate, Halloween is a time for fun and games and to perhaps live out a childhood fantasy through dress and play.  (I still secretly think I’m Wonder Woman, but aren’t all women???)  This week’s post is a quick safety reminder as you prepare for parties, to take the kids out trick-or-treating, and engage in other fun activities.


  1. Small children should always be accompanied by a parent or other trusted adult guardian while trick-or-treating.
  2. Older children should travel in a group and should never be out on the street alone.
  3. Avoid placing children in long costumes that may drag on the ground as they may trip and fall.  The costume may also get caught on a curb causing injury.
  4. For costumes that incorporate make-up or a mask, ensure that the eyes are not obstructed.
  5. If possible, wear light colored costumes so that you are easily visible.  Consider placing a light or reflective material on children wearing dark colored costumes so that drivers can see them as they navigate area neighborhoods.
  6. Stay in well-lit areas and on familiar streets.
  7. Let people know where you will be and always carry a cell phone.
  8. Parents and guardians should always inspect their children’s candy before it is consumed and it is best not to eat homemade treats.  Throw away any candy that has been opened, has a hole in it or appears to be tampered with.  If you have any doubts, err on the side of caution and throw it away.  (There have been police reports across the country of authorities uncovering candy laced with ecstasy so you can never be too careful).
  9. For those adults participating in Halloween parties, be mindful of your alcohol consumption.  If you know you’re going to be drinking, use Uber or have a designated driver.
  10. If you’re at a private home, club or other venue, never leave your drink unattended or consume a beverage you are unsure of.  Unfortunately, predators still try to entice victims by placing harmful substances in their drinks.

People tend to let their guard down when they are excited or distracted.  These reminders are simple tips for preventing harm, injury, and victimization.  Have a great time this weekend and as always, be safe!

L.J. Follow me on Twitter: @CrimeDoc1213

#Halloween #October31st #safetytips #tips #crimeprevention #victimization #costume #safety #trickortreat #candy #alcohol #drugs #ecstasy #crime #justice #fall #autumn #ljsamuel #deardiary #DMV #WashingtonDC


Centers for Disease Control. (2015). Halloween health & safety tips. Washington, DC: CDC. Retrieved from

Cohen, P. (2015, October, 23). Is that candy or Ecstasy? Halloween warnings spook parents. CBS News. Retrieved from

Photo source: