WASHINGTON—Declaring the armored lighter-than-air sky fortress a testament to African American achievement across parallel realities, the Smithsonian Museum celebrated Black Alternate History Month Monday with a full-scale recreation of The B.S.S. Crisis, W.E.B. Du Bois’ war zeppelin. “Looking at this afro-futurist combat dirigible evokes images of W.E.B. Du Bois, resplendent in his cybernetic eye patch and brass-trimmed top hat, bending his formidable will and intellect to drop hundreds of tons of dynamite on segregationist camps from the helm of the Crisis,” said head researcher Lawrence Brumly, who unveiled the airship in its new home alongside several other artifacts including a walk-through interior model of the hoverbus which Robo Parks refused to ride atop; Sally Jefferson-Hemmings bloodstained, steam-powered battle dress; and the schematics of George Washington Carver’s peanut-based fission bomb, which allowed the United States of Black America to bring the Civil War to an end. “We are incredibly lucky to be able to display relics from the dream-realization chamber of Dr. MechaLuther King to the original manuscripts of Pope Malcolm X. And allowing visitors to interact with, for instance, the piano played by President Ray Charles on The Arsenio Hall Show really allows them to have a sense of the rich alternate history of black Americans.” In the next year, the Smithsonian has planned exhibits allowing museum visitors to experience firsthand the difference advanced African American technology has made in this country since arriving in the portal from Mars.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.