Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture We are the nation’s largest museum devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history.

Welcome to our page! Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your visit. We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner an

Welcome to our page! Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your visit. We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner an

Operating as usual

#OnThisDay in 1865, enslaved African Americans were notified of their freedom by Union troops in Galveston, TX—two years...
06/19/2021

#OnThisDay in 1865, enslaved African Americans were notified of their freedom by Union troops in Galveston, TX—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. Known as #Juneteenth, this day is widely celebrated as the end of chattel slavery in the US. Juneteenth marks our country’s second Independence Day.

Though it has long been celebrated among the African American community, it is a history that has been marginalized and was largely unknown to the wider public. The legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of deep hope and urgent organizing in uncertain times.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control, and some enslaved people would not be free until much later. Our museum is a community space where that spirit can continue to live on – where histories like this one can surface, and new stories with equal urgency can be told. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory

Looking to learn more about #Juneteenth and African American cultural traditions? Check out our new summer reading list:...
06/18/2021

Looking to learn more about #Juneteenth and African American cultural traditions? Check out our new summer reading list: https://bit.ly/3cPBY7c #NMAAHCReads

Looking to learn more about #Juneteenth and African American cultural traditions? Check out our new summer reading list: https://bit.ly/3cPBY7c #NMAAHCReads

Tomorrow is #Juneteenth! Don’t forget to join us for the museum’s virtual Juneteenth commemoration, which will include a...
06/18/2021
Juneteenth

Tomorrow is #Juneteenth! Don’t forget to join us for the museum’s virtual Juneteenth commemoration, which will include activities exploring the meaning of freedom and engaging in African American cultural traditions: https://s.si.edu/2U1L4XW

Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future. Discover ways to celebrate this African American cultural tradition of music, food and freedom.  The above media is provided by YouTube (Privacy Policy, Terms of Service) Virtual Programs  Generously supported...

While Juneteenth is often associated with celebrations of physical emancipations from slavery, it also signaled another ...
06/17/2021
Emancipation and Educating the Newly Freed

While Juneteenth is often associated with celebrations of physical emancipations from slavery, it also signaled another type of liberation for the newly freed. Between 1861 and 1900, more than 90 institutions of higher education were founded for Black Americans who could not otherwise attend predominantly white institutions because of segregation laws.

These schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) became repositories of African American history and culture, safeguarding generations of memorabilia and documenting the rich culture of HBCU traditions. Learn more on the blog: https://s.si.edu/3gJUChZ

For the nearly four million newly freed, education was a crucial first step to becoming self-sufficient. Between 1861 and 1900, more than 90 institutions of higher education were founded for African Americans.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date when enslaved communities in the state of Texas learned the Civil War ha...
06/17/2021

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date when enslaved communities in the state of Texas learned the Civil War had ended, and that they were free from slavery—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Celebrated by African Americans for generations through food and fellowship, Juneteenth embodies Black resilience, independence, and community. It is a day African Americans set aside to commemorate the end of slavery and the promise of freedom—expressed through music, food, and ceremony.

This limited-edition merchandise collection foregrounds Black-led designs as part of the Museum’s larger #Juneteenth celebration of resilience, including a curated summer reading list and virtual programming. Help represent this holiday with products that honor Juneteenth as celebrated for over 150 years, in support of the National Museum of African American History and Culture: https://bit.ly/3wuduYK

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date when enslaved communities in the state of Texas learned the Civil War had ended, and that they were free from slavery—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Celebrated by African Americans for generations through food and fellowship, Juneteenth embodies Black resilience, independence, and community. It is a day African Americans set aside to commemorate the end of slavery and the promise of freedom—expressed through music, food, and ceremony.

This limited-edition merchandise collection foregrounds Black-led designs as part of the Museum’s larger #Juneteenth celebration of resilience, including a curated summer reading list and virtual programming. Help represent this holiday with products that honor Juneteenth as celebrated for over 150 years, in support of the National Museum of African American History and Culture: https://bit.ly/3wuduYK

#Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future. Celebrate this African American...
06/16/2021

#Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future.

Celebrate this African American cultural tradition of music, food and freedom with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture with a day of virtual programming and educational resources, including our social media toolkit, Juneteenth reading list, limited edition merchandise collection, and more: https://s.si.edu/2U1L4XW

#Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future.

Celebrate this African American cultural tradition of music, food and freedom with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture with a day of virtual programming and educational resources, including our social media toolkit, Juneteenth reading list, limited edition merchandise collection, and more: https://s.si.edu/2U1L4XW

Charley Pride was a legend in country music. A sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Pride started his career as a pitche...
06/16/2021

Charley Pride was a legend in country music. A sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Pride started his career as a pitcher in the Negro American League. He first ventured into music when a baseball team manager paid him $10 to sing for 15 minutes before games.

Pride’s singing boosted attendance and led him to consider a career as a professional musician. He began singing with a quartet called the Night Hawks at local clubs after baseball games and soon gained local success and fame.

In 1966, his voice caught the attention of famed producer Chet Atkins who signed Pride to RCA Records. During Pride’s peak years at RCA, he was the second best-selling artist on the label, only topped by Elvis Presley. #APeoplesGroove

Charley Pride was a legend in country music. A sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Pride started his career as a pitcher in the Negro American League. He first ventured into music when a baseball team manager paid him $10 to sing for 15 minutes before games.

Pride’s singing boosted attendance and led him to consider a career as a professional musician. He began singing with a quartet called the Night Hawks at local clubs after baseball games and soon gained local success and fame.

In 1966, his voice caught the attention of famed producer Chet Atkins who signed Pride to RCA Records. During Pride’s peak years at RCA, he was the second best-selling artist on the label, only topped by Elvis Presley. #APeoplesGroove

#OnThisDay 100 years ago, Bessie Coleman received her flying license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale—mak...
06/15/2021

#OnThisDay 100 years ago, Bessie Coleman received her flying license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale—making her the the first woman of African American descent and the first of Native American descent to earn a pilot license.

She was inspired to apply to aviation school by stories of women aviators that she heard from soldiers who returned home from Europe after World War I. She was denied admission to aviation school due to her race and gender. In 1919, Coleman enrolled at the Caudron Brothers’ School of Aviation in France, and after seven months, she learned how to fly.

After receiving her pilot’s license, Coleman became a high-profile pilot in early, dangerous air shows in the United States. She hoped to start a school for African American fliers but tragically passed in a plane crash in 1926 while testing a new aircraft. #BecauseOfHerStory #APeoplesJourney

Learn more: https://s.si.edu/3gyh6SX

#OnThisDay 100 years ago, Bessie Coleman received her flying license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale—making her the the first woman of African American descent and the first of Native American descent to earn a pilot license.

She was inspired to apply to aviation school by stories of women aviators that she heard from soldiers who returned home from Europe after World War I. She was denied admission to aviation school due to her race and gender. In 1919, Coleman enrolled at the Caudron Brothers’ School of Aviation in France, and after seven months, she learned how to fly.

After receiving her pilot’s license, Coleman became a high-profile pilot in early, dangerous air shows in the United States. She hoped to start a school for African American fliers but tragically passed in a plane crash in 1926 while testing a new aircraft. #BecauseOfHerStory #APeoplesJourney

Learn more: https://s.si.edu/3gyh6SX

Rock and roll emerged in the 1950s by combining the structure of American popular song with the sounds of African Americ...
06/14/2021

Rock and roll emerged in the 1950s by combining the structure of American popular song with the sounds of African American sacred and secular musical styles. Feverishly consumed by adolescents, the music was aggressively marketed as a sonic reflection of teenage rebellion.

Rock musicians re-imagined the possibilities of music, and their fame helped bridge America’s racial divide. Rock and roll established a new musical standard characterized by aggressive rhythms, electric instrumentation, and tumultuous performances, and decades of global popularity.

Richard Wayne “Little Richard” Penniman was steeped in the musical traditions of R&B, gospel, and boogie-woogie piano. He became one of rock and roll’s most prominent innovators by the sheer power and jubilant abandon of his inimitable voice.

Influencing generations of musicians, he helped define the genre’s sound with his singing, piano playing, and outlandish style and personality. Little Richard is one of rock and roll’s first true stars. #APeoplesGroove

Rock and roll emerged in the 1950s by combining the structure of American popular song with the sounds of African American sacred and secular musical styles. Feverishly consumed by adolescents, the music was aggressively marketed as a sonic reflection of teenage rebellion.

Rock musicians re-imagined the possibilities of music, and their fame helped bridge America’s racial divide. Rock and roll established a new musical standard characterized by aggressive rhythms, electric instrumentation, and tumultuous performances, and decades of global popularity.

Richard Wayne “Little Richard” Penniman was steeped in the musical traditions of R&B, gospel, and boogie-woogie piano. He became one of rock and roll’s most prominent innovators by the sheer power and jubilant abandon of his inimitable voice.

Influencing generations of musicians, he helped define the genre’s sound with his singing, piano playing, and outlandish style and personality. Little Richard is one of rock and roll’s first true stars. #APeoplesGroove

#OnThisDay in 1866, Addie W. Hunton was born. Hunton, Kathryn M. Johnson, and Helen Curtis were the only three known Bla...
06/11/2021

#OnThisDay in 1866, Addie W. Hunton was born. Hunton, Kathryn M. Johnson, and Helen Curtis were the only three known Black women the U.S. government officially permitted to travel to France during World War I.

While there, they ran YMCA canteens and leave stations catering to African American soldiers. After the war, Hunton and Johnson co-authored 'Two Colored Women With the American Expeditionary Forces,' published in 1920. The significance of their work, and other Black women who later went to France after the armistice, cannot be overstated. #APeoplesJourney

Learn more about African American women overseas during WWI: https://s.si.edu/2QxUc2d

#OnThisDay in 1866, Addie W. Hunton was born. Hunton, Kathryn M. Johnson, and Helen Curtis were the only three known Black women the U.S. government officially permitted to travel to France during World War I.

While there, they ran YMCA canteens and leave stations catering to African American soldiers. After the war, Hunton and Johnson co-authored 'Two Colored Women With the American Expeditionary Forces,' published in 1920. The significance of their work, and other Black women who later went to France after the armistice, cannot be overstated. #APeoplesJourney

Learn more about African American women overseas during WWI: https://s.si.edu/2QxUc2d

Rooted in the spirituals and gospel hymns of the Black church, gospel music emerged in the 20th century in urban working...
06/10/2021

Rooted in the spirituals and gospel hymns of the Black church, gospel music emerged in the 20th century in urban working-class communities. Over the course of a century, gospel has become a global, multidimensional genre combining Christian teachings and the music industry’s powerful capacity for publicity, recordings, and concerts.

In its traditional and modern versions, gospel’s appeal has always been partly religious and partly secular, a sacred message within compelling music. #APeoplesGroove

Rooted in the spirituals and gospel hymns of the Black church, gospel music emerged in the 20th century in urban working-class communities. Over the course of a century, gospel has become a global, multidimensional genre combining Christian teachings and the music industry’s powerful capacity for publicity, recordings, and concerts.

In its traditional and modern versions, gospel’s appeal has always been partly religious and partly secular, a sacred message within compelling music. #APeoplesGroove

Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey passed away #OTD in 1940. Garvey was a political leader, journalist, and orator who immigrat...
06/10/2021

Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey passed away #OTD in 1940. Garvey was a political leader, journalist, and orator who immigrated to New York City in 1916. He advocated Pan Africanism, which encouraged a return to Africa as well as economic and political solidarity among African descendants worldwide.

To spread his ideas and achieve his goals, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and his newspaper the Negro World. He also created the Black Star Line, which was to carry people back to Africa and promote economic trade. #APeoplesJourney

Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey passed away #OTD in 1940. Garvey was a political leader, journalist, and orator who immigrated to New York City in 1916. He advocated Pan Africanism, which encouraged a return to Africa as well as economic and political solidarity among African descendants worldwide.

To spread his ideas and achieve his goals, he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and his newspaper the Negro World. He also created the Black Star Line, which was to carry people back to Africa and promote economic trade. #APeoplesJourney

Characterized by improvisation and twelve-bar chord progressions, the blues is central to the structure, sound, and ince...
06/09/2021

Characterized by improvisation and twelve-bar chord progressions, the blues is central to the structure, sound, and inception of most American music. It is the soundtrack of Jim Crow America, narrating the ups and downs of life and the experiences of African Americans living in segregated communities. The blues also marks the period when secular themes and expressions began to vigorously shape the sound and content of American music.

The era of the commercial blues singer began in the 1920s. Throughout the decade, female singers popularized the blues as they toured black vaudeville houses, theaters, and tent shows. They sang tales of wayward lovers, hard times, and self-empowerment. Their songs and vocal stylings reflected their world—urban and secular. They embodied a spirit of freedom and spontaneity and influenced popular singing styles for generations that followed. #APeoplesGroove

Characterized by improvisation and twelve-bar chord progressions, the blues is central to the structure, sound, and inception of most American music. It is the soundtrack of Jim Crow America, narrating the ups and downs of life and the experiences of African Americans living in segregated communities. The blues also marks the period when secular themes and expressions began to vigorously shape the sound and content of American music.

The era of the commercial blues singer began in the 1920s. Throughout the decade, female singers popularized the blues as they toured black vaudeville houses, theaters, and tent shows. They sang tales of wayward lovers, hard times, and self-empowerment. Their songs and vocal stylings reflected their world—urban and secular. They embodied a spirit of freedom and spontaneity and influenced popular singing styles for generations that followed. #APeoplesGroove

“In the beginning, Hip-Hop did nothing to declare itself. It did not start with a manifesto. It did not announce itself ...
06/08/2021

“In the beginning, Hip-Hop did nothing to declare itself. It did not start with a manifesto. It did not announce itself as an avant-garde.” - Jeff Chang #SmithsonianHipHop #APeoplesGroove

“In the beginning, Hip-Hop did nothing to declare itself. It did not start with a manifesto. It did not announce itself as an avant-garde.” - Jeff Chang #SmithsonianHipHop #APeoplesGroove

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Welcome to our page! Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your visit. We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect. The Smithsonian also monitors posts on Facebook consistent with its policy at http://si.edu/Termsofuse#user-gen, and reserves the right to remove content in accordance with its Terms of Use. Finally, be aware that Facebook is a third party website with its own terms of use and privacy policy. The Smithsonian does not control Facebook’s collection, use, or dissemination of information. To protect your privacy, do not include any personally identifiable information (PII) that you do not wish to be made available to the general public. To protect the privacy of others, please do not post any PII without the express permission of the person involved. In addition, the Smithsonian may archive materials posted on this website pursuant to its document retention policies. By posting content, you are giving the Smithsonian and those authorized by the Smithsonian permission to use or modify it for any educational, promotional, or other standard museum purpose, in media of all kinds whether now known or later developed. Any data that users post on this site or that the Smithsonian collects from this site is subject to our terms of use and privacy policies which can be found at: http://www.si.edu/termsofuse/ and http://www.si.edu/privacy/. Facebook terms of use: https://www.facebook.com/policies?ref=pf Facebook privacy policy: https://www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation

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