WASHINGTON (WVEC) -- While getting a look at the journeys chronicled inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture, my grandparents, Brenda and Willie Williams, joined me for their first visit to the museum.

“Oh my goodness. How in the world do you hold something like that? And that’s what they had to use to fight with, huh,” my grandmother said.

My grandfather, shaking his head, looked at an actual bag that the slaves used to pick cotton.

“They prefer to be dead than be slaved,” said my grandmother.

The images tell a story, one that they lived through.

“We had to run from different people...we couldn’t even go to school unless we ran, so the best thing I could do at that time was not go to school,” my grandfather remembered.

For my grandparents, who are part only a third generation out of slavery, the trip to the museum brought a whirlwind of emotions.

“They suffered. They really, really suffered. It was very heartbreaking," stated my grandmother.

Although there were some exhibits that were difficult to see, my grandparents loved the museum, leaving with answers to a lot of previously unanswered questions.

They always will remember what their parents and grandparents had to face, knowing there is a place that acknowledges and teaches people about those struggles. It also is a place that reminds them how far their family and so many others have come.

“Glory hallelujah!” said my grandmother.

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