Sometimes you sit back and close your eyes and imagine what things were like for your grandparents — how scary it must have been to live in a world where crosses were burned and nooses were left on doorsteps.

Then you open your eyes and realize you’re living in the very same world.

Wednesday, the Smithsonian reported that a noose was left in one of the gallery halls of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Police closed down the exhibit the rope was left in, and have begun an investigation that is on-going.

“The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity — a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans,” the museum’s director, Lonnie Bunch, wrote in a email, “Today's incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face.”

The Smithsonian's secretary, David Skorton, echoed Bunch's words, calling the action "repugnant," and had a message for whoever left the noose. " “We will not be intimated. Cowardly acts like these will not, for one moment, prevent us from the vital work we do.”

This marks the second time this week a noose has been left on Smithsonian grounds. Four days ago, a noose was found in a tree right outside the Hirshhorn Museum. It's as of yet unclear whether the two cases are related.

Keep an eye here to Blavity for more updates — fingers crossed whoever it is that is trying to revive elements of our dark history is swiftly brought to justice.