For the first time, the Museum of African American Art (MAAA) will be journeying to Dakar, Senegal for a cultural experience. Essential Senegal centered around the newly opened Museum of Black Civilization will be an eight-day trip full of knowledge and enlightenment.
Taking place May 16-25, 2020, Essential Senegal will journey across the globe to gain knowledge on the art and culture of the area. With a well-versed tour guide, the group will visit multiple museums, the African Renaissance Monument and the Grand Mosque of Dakar. They will also visit the historical site where slaves boarded the slave ships and were transported to America. Also taking a journey through wildlife at the Bandia Reserve.
Included in trip fees will be all meals and gratuity, roundtrip air travel and ground transportation, as well as comfortable and moderately priced double occupancy accommodations at various hotels throughout the city. Activity and entrance fees are also included in the $3700 price ticket for the trip.
“Once we found out about this new museum opening in Senegal, we said we got to go there,” Elizabeth “Betty” Johnson of MAAA shared.
“We’re calling it a cultural experience. What we want to do is to take these groups of people, to this museum and highlight it, and get some buzz around it since we [too] are a museum,” Johnson stated.
Another overarching goal for MAAA is to connect the two cities and build a bond between the museums to deepen the knowledge base and connection between the two worlds and cultures.
“We’re all trying to connect to who we are,” Robin Billups of the MAAA stated. “I think just being in the environment, being in the Motherland, no matter what country it is. No matter what city, no matter where you land, the idea that you’re in the Motherland.”
“We are the surviving race. So the idea that you have an opportunity to go to the Motherland, to reconnect, and come back home and everybody who takes these trips, they always say, you come back different,” she continued. “These are the opportunities for us to learn with each other, and then to bring that back to share with the community.”
The women of MAAA advised the trip will require much walking and time on foot, suggesting that everyone prepares themselves for the journey ahead. Through much enlightenment, MAAA’s organizers believe this is the perfect opportunity to engage with millennials and Generation Z.
“For a young person in this day and age, to get a lot of history wrapped up into a pleasure trip, I think, yeah, is a good thing,” Johnson stated.
“We all have to become global citizens now. With the worldwide web, there’s no longer a local community. Everything is global. So we have to learn how to become global citizens,” Billups contributed. “We have to learn how to appreciate other people’s culture and languages; learn how to appreciate our own cultural language that we weren’t taught exactly,” Billups said.
“It’s a unique opportunity to be one of the first into an internationally known museum that just opened to see,” Adrienne Foster who is also an organizer shared. “It’s a very troubled period in the States; to go back and touch different points of exit from where we came from, to know what we’ve been through. I think that really it’s an eye-opening experience.”
The deadline for all payments is March 7, 2020. For more information on the trip, visit maaala.org or visit the Museum of African American Art to have one on one conversations with any of the women mentioned.