Today’s What We’re Reading post comes to you from Angela Foss, Program Administrator for the Museum Studies program and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences here at Tufts.
An NPR article titled “African-American Museum Cafe Serves Up Black History With Every Forkful” details how the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC includes a cafe that serves up traditional African-American cuisines from four regions of the US: the North States, Western Range, Agriculture South and Creole Coast. “The idea is to expand people’s understanding of just how much African-Americans have contributed to our nation’s culinary heritage, says Joanne Hyppolite, curator for the cultural expressions exhibits that feature foodways, culture and cuisine.” But the cafe doesn’t just offer soul food. It offers items that visitors may never have heard of or tasted before in an effort to further educate visitors on African-American life and cuisine. In this way, the museum has created an immersive experience to expand the visit and include a new form of sensory education: taste.
What do you think of this initiative, and how do you think it could be translated to other museums? Should it be utilized all the time, or just for special exhibitions? Share your thoughts in the comments below!