NW African American Museum Features Exhibit on Black Health

March 29th, 2011

By Lily Tesfaye
Co-founder, Quaker Teens Improving Health Problems

The Northwest African American museum is a museum that was established more than 100 years ago. It is mainly focused on Africans and African Americans living here in North America. African Americans came from a variety of countries, representing an assortment of religions, a staggering array of occupations, a multitude of co-workers, neighbors, friends, and families, and an ever evolving community that continues to shape and reshape the human experience in the Pacific Northwest. Although the NW African American museum has three main exhibits, we mainly focused on the Black health exhibit during Q-TIHP’s field trip.
The Black health exhibit mainly focuses on diseases which affect African Americans more than other populations. Common diseases include heart attacks, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Our tour guide told us that this is mostly happening because of an improper diet. As our guide explained it, it is because the excitement they get when they get the tasty fast food for cheap prices which they didn’t have when they were in their home country. And it is a fact that African American peoples die more of these diseases than many other peoples.
Secondly, In NWAA’s Black health exhibit, it shows the problems that African and African-American women have when they give birth. Most African American women die above the average than other women, and give birth to babies with lower birth weights. A lower birth weight is bad because it means that child may have health problems later on in life. This exhibit also shows doctors’ recommendations for how African American women can have healthier pregnancies.
Furthermore, we also saw another exhibit in the museum that focuses on the area of 23rd Avenue East and East Union Street, the heart of the Central Area. This area has had a bad reputation for decades because of some of the violence that has happened there. It also has a rich history of being home to Jewish and Black communities, and being a focal point for rallies for peace and justice. One of the questions the museum asks is: “Will this area be marked as the bad area forever, or will it change?”
In conclusion, this museum is a good museum where we can learn a lot of things about Africa and African peoples. And the people in this museum are very friendly and willing to teach you more about what is going on in the museum and in the lives of Black communities. So I would recommend this museum for everybody to go and see its exhibits.


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