Marian Anderson stands outside before a bank of microphones, preparing to sing from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before an audience of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall

African American History

Explore the digital resources on this page to learn more about African American history at the National Museum of American History.

Photo above: Marian Anderson performing at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939. Scurlock Studio Records, Series 4: Black and White Negatives Box 618.04.86, Archives Center (AC0618ns0227136-01jp)



The museum's newest podcast series, Collected, is a project of the African American History Curatorial Collective. Centering stories curated by the Collective’s members, this podcast offers compelling and accessible journeys through topics in African American history that are particularly relevant today. The topic for the first season of Collected is Black Feminism.

Other Smithsonian-related podcast episodes featuring African American history include:

Archival Collections

The National Museum of American History’s Archives Center collects, preserves, and provides access to numerous archival collections related to African American history

Some highlights include:

The Archives Center recently completed work as part of a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources to establish the D.C. Africana Archives Project. The grant aimed to document African American and African culture, history, and politics in Washington, D.C., through photographs and documents held by people and organizations throughout the city.

A group of girls at camp, posing on a car
YWCA camp for girls, Highland Beach, Maryland. Scurlock Studio Records, Subseries 4.1: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives, Archives Center (NMAH-AC0618ns0179056pg)