The new National Museum of African American History and Culture designed by architect David Adjaye is set to open on September 24 on the mall in the nation’s capital. For architects and designers, it is, perhaps, the most anticipated design to land on the mall in many years after several recent designs took rather well-worn approaches.
Paterson, New Jersey, is a tough town. Gang violence is prevalent, teachers are being laid off, and nearly 30 percent of the city’s residents live in poverty. But the city’s got soul. On Market Street, the lively main thoroughfare, bachata music spills from 99-cent stores, and the scent of Peruvian food wafts through the air. Paterson has been a magnet for immigration since the 19th century, and the reason why is found nearby. Twenty minutes from the center of town is the Great Falls, now part of Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park, where the Passaic River makes a majestic drop of 77 feet off basalt rock cliffs before it continues its twisted path. These are the falls that made Paterson.
It was a small moment back in April at the Athena’s Arena Conference celebrating 40 years of women at West Point, but it was significant in its insignificance. Two female alumni from the Class of ‘94 passed through a doorway while two female cadets held the door. Thanks were exchanged, and that was that. Later, when asked about the encounter, neither alumna thought much of it.