Saturday, November 19, 2005

Museum of African American History... and My Secret Phobia

I went on a field trip this morning to the Museum of African American History in Detroit. As you can see from the picture, it's a super-sweet facility. The dome is huge, and has amazing acoustics. There's also a huge mural on the floor, of Africa, the U.S., a woman giving birth, "the Book of Knowledge" and some other stuff. It's really impressive. We went through the core exhibit, a history of slavery, which is called "And Still I Rise." It was incredibly well-crafted, educational, and... huge. Seriously. We went on the top deck of a ship and then through the hold underneath where all the slaves were kept, and there were African villages and 1950s-era Detroit recreations, too. It's probably the coolest museum I've ever been to.

So, I have a fear. Not many people know about it, but it reared its ugly head today. I am afraid of historically dressed mannequins. Yes, you read that correctly. Historically dressed mannequins. I got lost in a museum when I was six years old, and I came around a corner and there were these mannequins in cowboy costumes and I flipped my shit. Now, over twenty years later, I still don't like them. They freak me out. And of course, in an exhibit about slavery, there were all sorts of mannequins in historical costumes. The first creepy ones were royalty from Benin circa 1700. Super scary. There were two that were absolutely horrific: a slave trader with curly hair and a bartender from the '50s... I saw those and had to turn away. I'm not joking. Ask my dad. We went to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame a couple summers ago and some of those vaqueros were evil.

Museum of African American History - A-
historically dressed mannequins - D

7 comments:

dad who remembers the visit to the Western Heritage Museum said...

I wonder if you could stand a visit to Madame Tussauds!

paultoes said...

i think historically dressed people are scarier.

casey said...

So, what about the movie "Mannaquin" with Kim Cattral? Does that scare you? I mean, that mannaquin comes to life. But it's Kim. She's cool!

equippedtofascinate said...

Casey stole my question. Lisa and I were talking about that movie 3 days ago. What are the odds? I have a horrible phobia of people with masks...not hockey masks, but costume masks.

Natalie said...

I don't like the big heads at Disneyland, etc. I don't like that I don't know if the person inside is a "sweaty toothed madman" or not...

amandarama said...

No, Mannequin is okay, because I don't really consider the '80s a historical era, since I was alive during that time.

Chargenda said...

I used to love that movie. And when I was pressed to name a woman I had a crush on as a small child, which kids talked about a lot, I said it was Kim Cattral. I even carved Charlie heart's Kim in our picnic table once with friends around. But really I think I wanted the neighbor boy who was with me when I carved it.