Music blasts toward the audience as concertgoers dance to Steve Aoki's pounding bass rhythms and bright LED displays. The DJ throws cakes...
Wartime often catalyzes developments in philanthropy. In 2017, the museum added the Bowl of Rice party banner, from fundraising efforts to...
In April 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed May to be Jewish American Heritage Month. Jewish American objects in our collections...

Blog Posts in "African American History"

A gold belt buck with "US" on it is seen in close-up through other costume elements
Watching this year's Academy Award-winning movie 12 Years a Slave compelled me to think about my internship research on objects...
Jimmy Carter's FFA jacket, front and back
What do a former U.S. president, a spotted hog raiser, two former teachers, and a librarian have in common? They're all FFA (formerly known...
Needles, scissors, pins, and chatelaine from the, early 1800s, of the type Pickersgill and her assistants would have used to make the flag.
Two hundred years ago, an African American girl made history—literally. She was an indentured servant named Grace Wisher in the household...
Brown shredded tree stump, black background
On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania, Museum Fellow Jesse Gant shares the story of one dramatic Civil War relic.On May 12...
Young man posing on a bike with low handle bars. He wears short shorts and t-shirt with stripes, perhaps racing clothes. He is African American.
Can you imagine not knowing Babe Ruth? What if Muhammad Ali and his accomplishments had been lost to history? What if you didn't know who...
Christopher Wilson, Director of Experience and Program Design, reflects on the legacy of Civil Rights activist and friend, Franklin McCain....
Ganz holding microphone speaking to audience, wearing white shirt
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Mississippi Summer Project, the Museum is hosting the National Youth Summit on Freedom Summer...
"One Man, One Vote" poster with photo of man in hat and overalls, black and white
Joy Lyman, one of the museum's Freedom School Scholars, will moderate the National Youth Summit on Freedom Summer on February 5, 2014. Joy...
Joy Lyman is a Freedom School Scholar at the National Museum of American History. In the course of her work on the 2014 National Youth...
Black and white photo of our people standing in a small room. Nelson Mandela gestures. President Clinton looks with a half smile. Hillary Clinton shown in profile. Woman looks in through the door.
Christopher Wilson, Director of Experience and Program Design, shares the rare opportunity he had to reflect on the legacy of Nelson...
Freedom School Scholar Harry Clarke reflects on the story of Glen Echo Amusement Park as part of his preparation to host the National Youth...
Matty Alou's brothers Felipe and Jesús also played professional baseball. This card shows the National League's 1968 batting leaders, which include Matty and Felipe Alou. Ronald S. Korda
Intern Jhensen Ortiz spent the summer researching integration narratives of Afro-Latino baseball players. Just in time for the World Series...
Today, October 1, marks the anniversary of James Meredith's admission to the segregated University of Mississippi. Harry Clarke, who was...
The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington makes intern Caitlin Gropp's research in preparation for a nationwide, online program about...
Fifty years after the March on Washington, what we remember about the March may not accurately echo what was said and who spoke—and who...
two educators hold model slave shackles in front of a model ship
This summer, a new program debuted on the museum floor: (Re)Searching an American Slave Ship. It highlights the ongoing research led by our...
Fannie Lou Hamer postage stamp
Confronted with challenging primary source material as part of her research on the civil rights movement, Fellow Regina Sierra Carter was...
Photograph of a street corner with a large building and horse carriages
As a mob protesting the Civil War draft formed near Steinway & Sons on July 13, 1863, the factory owner recorded the dramatic events of...
Many have commented on the power of our Join the Student Sit-Ins program. One audience member wrote to us about the memories the...
Sparked by a photograph, staff member Christopher Wilson discusses his relationship with music that spans the generations.It's amazing the...
The movie 42 has introduced many to the story of Jackie Robinson. Archivist Cathy Keen explores one interpretation of the...
Thirteen women and three children pose in floor-length dresses outside a building with fountain
Can you celebrate Black History by competing for a pageant crown? This is the second in Kimberly Brown's series on Negro History Week.When...
Portrait of a young man in a suit, necktie, and wing-collar
When there were no academic journals to counter racist scholarship, Dr. Carter G. Woodson created one. When no professional presses that...
Editor's note: As the Museum prepares for the National Youth Summit on Abolition, we're exploring how teachers discuss slavery in...
Actor Xavier Carnegie performing as Nat Love
Nat Love (pronounced “Nate”) lived the kind of life that adventure novels and blockbuster movies are built on. Freed from slavery at a...
Ella in white suit and hat with baseball player
After her death in 1996, curators from this museum worked with caretakers of the Ella Fitzgerald Estate, Richard Rosman and Fran Morris...
Medallion
The National Museum of American History and photographer Robert Weingarten are working in collaboration to build a historic portrait with...
 Jacket patch designed to look like a baseball with text: “World Monarchs Champions 1942”
While volunteering with the Smithsonian’s sports collection for the past three months, I ran across a jacket patch worn by the manager of...
 An African American soldier greets several figures on horseback. Lines of soldiers in formation are visible in the background.
During the 1970s the museum purchased a small collection of printing blocks purported to have been used to produce Civil War issues of...
The Scurlock Studio was a photographic business operated by an African American family in Washington, D.C., from 1911 to 1994....
AIDS Awareness trading cards
Editor’s Note: This is the third post in a series exploring the 30th anniversary of HIV and AIDS. Check out the companion website.Trading...
One of the things I love most about being a public historian at the nation’s history museum is how the past comes to life every day. As the...
Singer/composer Abbey Lincoln drew strength from emancipation–her own and the liberation of others fighting for social justice. When she...
For a good part of the twentieth century, Harlem’s Apollo Theater was one of the most prestigious, important, and well-known venues for...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by guest blogger Lynn Kessler, a writer and producer at Smithsonian Networks. "Seizing Justice: The...
Recently at the museum we were privileged to hear from one of this country’s eminent historians, David Hackett Fischer. As he described his...
Black and white photo of a man and woman looking at pages of paper.
Lena Horne was an American treasure, a cultural icon whose career achievements and social legacy challenged and transformed America’s...
"I just got a call from the White House and they want us to perform Sing for Freedom for their visitors one day during Black History...
Album cover
Women in music have always struggled with recognition for their talent but during the mid-1900’s jazz music was a hardly receptive place...
Editor’s note: This post was written by Amy Trenkle, a middle school teacher in Washington, D.C. She and her students—along with 200 other...

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