Year of the Black Man
In the aftermath of last year’s unrest, what is the role of a museum dedicated to the history and culture of African Americans? Charles Bethea, chief curator at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, started his job last fall, with the city still reeling from the death of Freddie Grey. He has pledged to take on current controversies, with input from the community. Potential future exhibits include one on black-on-black violence and another on the rapper Tupac Shakur, who was killed in a drive-by shooting. How can an institution like the Lewis engage new, young visitors at this critical moment in African American history without abandoning its preservationist mission?