African American History Museum

This year's titles include I Was Better Last Night, Accidental Ecosystem and Winslow Homer: American Passage.

The Best Books of 2022

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2022

This wide-ranging list offers context for our rapidly changing world

"Sidedoor" host Lizzie Peabody creaks across museum attic floorboards and sneaks into an old house in the woods (above: What lurks inside the Sellman House at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center?) to investigate the spooky stories that only a few dare to tell.

The Ghosts Who Haunt the Smithsonian

Mysterious tales head up podcast offerings for late October and November

Emmett Lewis' ancestor Cudjo Lewis was one of the last survivors of the Clotilda.

These Descendants Never Forgot the Story of the Last American Slave Ship

A new Netflix documentary follows the families of the "Clotilda" captives as they grapple with how their past informs their future

Jalyn Hall (left) as Emmett Till and Danielle Deadwyler (right) as Mamie Till-Mobley in Till, a new movie directed by Chinonye Chukwu

Women Who Shaped History

How Emmett Till's Mother Galvanized the Civil Rights Movement

A new film dramatizes the life of Mamie Till-Mobley, who forced America to confront the brutality of her son's 1955 murder

Designer Samantha Black created three special-edition outfits for Claudie.

New American Girl Doll Celebrates Black Joy During the Harlem Renaissance

Nine-year-old Claudie Wells' story unfolds in 1920s New York

Head of a Negro Woman, 1946, by Elizabeth Catlett.

Women Who Shaped History

How Elizabeth Catlett Lifted Up Black Women Through Art

The pioneering sculptor defied trends to honor the daily lives of her subjects

Musicians Cindy Campbell and DJ Kool Herc take center stage in a 2013 celebration of the 40th anniversary of hip-hop. The brother and sister duo threw a "Back-to School Jam" in August, 1973 and launched a lasting music genre.

How the Block Party Became an Urban Phenomenon

Watch the National Museum of African American History and Culture's 2022 star-studded Hip-Hop Block Party

Singer James Brown off stage near Memphis, Tennessee

'Ebony' and 'Jet' Magazines' Iconic Photos Captured Black Life in America

Getty and the Smithsonian will now share ownership of the two magazines' renowned photo archives

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) recently acquired David Hammons' iconic African American Flag, which is now on view in the exhibition "Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience."

How a Celebrated Artist Redesigned the Stars and Stripes to Mark His Pride in Black America

David Hammons' 'African American Flag' is newly acquired and on view at NMAAHC

Austin Butler as Elvis in the new biopic

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis'

The new film dramatizes the life and legend of Elvis Presley from the perspective of his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture acquired three works by Elizabeth Catlett, representing the artist's impassioned devotion to the dignity, struggle and uplift. 

A Trio of Elizabeth Catlett Sculptures Convey the Power of Service to Humanity

Regarded as “guardians of the Black narrative,” the artworks greet visitors to NMAAHC’s Heritage Hall

The Commemorative at St. Mary's College of Maryland honors the enslaved people who once lived and worked there.

Good News

National Park Service Adds 16 New Underground Railroad Sites to Commemorative Network

The recognitions honor the resistance and bravery of freedom seekers and their allies who risked their lives to resist slavery

On July 21, 1963, Gloria Richardson was walking from a meeting when her would-be attacker ran at her with his brandished weapon leveled at her neck. She flat-palmed the blade of the bayonet, shoving it away from her body. 

Women Who Shaped History

How Gloria Richardson's Look of Righteous Indignation Became a Symbol of No Retreat

In 1963, the civil rights leader shoved aside a guardsman’s bayonet with disgust and defiance; photography preserved the charged moment

Sidney Poitier, pictured here in 2006 at the Cannes Film Festival, died Friday, January 7. He was 94. 

How Sidney Poitier Rewrote the Script for Black Actors in Hollywood

Smithsonian curators reflect on the legacy of the late Poitier, who starred in 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner'

A first edition of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), written while the poet was enslaved to John Wheatley of Boston. The book has a brown leather cover, the original Morocco spine label and a frontispiece featuring a portrait of Phillis by Scipio Morehead.


 

Women Who Shaped History

How Phillis Wheatley Beat All Expectations

The Revolution-era Boston establishment couldn't believe that the young African American woman wrote the exquisite book of poetry

The Moores' younger daughter, Evangeline, donated this locket and other personal artifacts to the Smithsonian in 2013.

This Locket Memorializes a Black Activist Couple Murdered in a Christmas 1951 Bombing

Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore attracted the KKK's ire for their tireless promotion of civil rights in the Jim Crow South

bell hooks, pictured in 1999

Women Who Shaped History

Groundbreaking Feminist Scholar bell hooks Dies at 69

The prolific American writer shaped a generation of discourse around Black feminism and intersectionality

Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye will lead design of the new Heritage District, a center dedicated to teaching about the history and impact of the transatlantic slave trade.

History of Now

After Breaking Ties With Britain, Barbados Announces Heritage District Tracing Slavery's Toll

The four-phase project will include a museum, global research center and memorial

Dozens of Smithsonian Institution professionals share their favorite reads from this year.

The Best Books of 2021

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2021

The writings of many fine authors support the research and ambitious undertakings of an Institution rising to the challenges ahead

The black-and-white stills represent the spirit rendered by King Richard, the new film starring Will Smith as the Williams sisters’ father, coach and mentor.

Based on a True Story

These Vintage Photos of Venus and Serena Williams Reveal the Truth of 'King Richard'

Seen as preteens, the future tennis sensations loved each other as much as they loved the sport

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