My earliest memory of going to a museum of any kind is of the Liberty Science Center. Now I know it doesn’t necessarily constitute a ‘museum’ as much as it does a ‘learning center’. But for a young girl of color from the inner-city of Newark, walking into LSC at 8 years old, was like introducing me to the Louvre in Paris.
I still remember not knowing what it was or what to expect. Excited about not being in school and going on a field trip. I remember asking my mother to sign the permission slip, getting in line to give it to my teacher and being in complete awe and wonder once I actually walked in.
I remember standing inside the front door and taking in the enormity of the structure. Looking up and being in awe of the glass panels and the amount of sunlight coming in. As a kid I always loved science, so being able to walk about the kid-friendly environment left free to roam, was heaven. To touch, to explore, to quench my curiosity. I still remember my favorite installation being the one based on the solar system which I was fascinated with.
Then sitting in the LSC amphitheater and watching whatever movie they played. And most of all, I remember leaving with an enormity of joy. I just knew, there was something about this place, this experience, that satiated something within me I didn’t know needed to be quenched. That awareness at such a young age is transformative.