African American History Museum

Through the Freedmen's Bureau, formerly enslaved people were able to obtain formal legal recognition of their marriages.

Innovation for Good

Newly Digitized Freedmen's Bureau Records Help Black Americans Trace Their Ancestry

Genealogists, historians and researchers can now peruse more than 3.5 million documents from the Reconstruction-era agency

Josephine Baker's remains will be reinterred at Paris' Panthéon on November 30.

Performer Josephine Baker to Be First Black Woman Buried at Paris' Panthéon

The talented entertainer, activist and spy will be the fifth woman accorded one of France's highest honors

Simone Biles (pictured) and Naomi Osaka, both Black athletes at the top of their sports, have been vocal about their struggles with mental health.

Race in America

The Relationship Between Race and Wellness Has Never Been More Pressing

A new Smithsonian initiative kicks off this week with a virtual summit examining these urgent issues

The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap tracks the evolution of the genre from its music to its culture and to its people. "Everything that is part of hip-hop," says the Smithsonian's Dwandalyn Reece, curator of music and performing arts.

Chronicling Hip-Hop's 45-Year Ascendance as a Musical, Cultural and Social Phenom

The groundbreaking box set "Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap" features 129 tracks, liner notes and an illustrated 300-page compendium

An interactive lunch counter at the African American History Museum lets visitors grapple with moral dilemmas of the civil rights movement.

Race in America

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on Why the Smithsonian Is Talking About Race

In a deeply divided moment, a new initiative aims to bring Americans together by reckoning with our racial past

Robert McCurdy, Untitled, Jeffrey P. Bezos, 2019, oil on canvas

Jeff Bezos Gifts Historic $200 Million to the Smithsonian

The Amazon founder's gift—the largest since the Institution was created in 1846—will support the Air and Space Museum renovation and a new education center

In 1921, Ruth Middleton embroidered this cotton sack with a powerful family story.

History of Now

A Simple Cotton Sack Tells an Intergenerational Story of Separation Under Slavery

Historian Tiya Miles' new book traces the lives of three Black women through an embroidered family heirloom known as "Ashley's sack"

Early Juneteenth celebrations featured picnics, rodeos, horseback riding and other festivities.

Juneteenth, the U.S.' Second Independence Day, Is Now a Federal Holiday

June 19, 1865, marked the end of slavery in Texas and, by extension, the Confederate states

Photograph of ten people and a dog at a picnic table, 1919–1925

Commemorate Juneteenth With Free Virtual Programs From the Smithsonian

On June 19, NMAAHC will honor the end of slavery in the U.S. with events featuring Annette Gordon-Reed, Adrian Miller and more

The mini museum is housed on the first floor of an Oakland, California, house whose exterior is decorated with a mural honoring the women of the Black Panther Party.

Mini Museum Honoring the Black Panther Party Will Debut on Juneteenth

A pop-up exhibition dedicated to the Black power organization is set to open in Oakland, California, on June 19

Sixty-five years ago Althea Gibson (above: in 1959) broke the color line at the French Open.

Women Who Shaped History

Sixty-Five Years Ago, Althea Gibson Broke the Color Line at the French Open

She was the first Black athlete—man or woman—to win any major national tennis championship

This month's book picks include The Engagement, How the Word Is Passed and Drunk.

Books of the Month

The Fight to Legalize Gay Marriage, the Woman Who Couldn't Be Silenced and Other New Books to Read

These June releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

Artist Kenny Altidor unveiled this Brooklyn mural of George Floyd in July 2020.

Remembering George Floyd and the Movement He Sparked

Kevin Young, director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, reflects on the one-year anniversary of Floyd's killing

Remembering Tulsa

Remembering Tulsa

A century ago, a murderous mob attacked the most prosperous Black community in the nation. This is the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre

From May 31 through June 1, 1921, white mobs murdered scores of African Americans and ransacked, razed and burned homes, businesses and churches in Tulsa's Black community of Greenwood.

Remembering Tulsa

Reflections on the Artifacts Left Behind From the Tulsa Race Massacre

Objects and documents, says the Smithsonian historian Paul Gardullo, offer a profound opportunity for reckoning with a past that still lingers

Prior to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the thriving neighborhood of Greenwood, Oklahoma (seen here in 1920), was nicknamed "Black Wall Street."

Remembering Tulsa

How the Public Helped Historians Better Understand What Happened at Tulsa

A century after the massacre of a prosperous Black community, Smithsonian volunteers transcribed nearly 500 pages of vital records in less than 24 hours

Featuring South African actress Thuso Mbedu as Cora (pictured here), the adaptation arrives amid a national reckoning on systemic injustice, as well as a renewed debate over cultural depictions of violence against Black bodies.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Amazon Prime's 'Underground Railroad'

The adaptation of Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel reimagines the eponymous trail to freedom as an actual train track

A statue of Benjamin Bannecker on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, as seen in 2020

History of Now

Meet Benjamin Banneker, the Black Scientist Who Documented Brood X Cicadas in the Late 1700s

A prominent intellectual and naturalist, the Maryland native wrote extensively on natural phenomena and anti-slavery causes

L to R: Ward Lee, Tucker Henderson and Romeo were three of the nearly 500 captives illegally transported on the Wanderer.

This Yacht Trafficked Enslaved Africans Long After the Slave Trade Was Abolished

New exhibition in Louisiana details the story of the "Wanderer," the penultimate ship to illegally transport enslaved people into the U.S.

Beginning next month, visitors will be able to meet baby panda cub Xiao Qi Ji in person.When the Zoo opens on May 21, visitors will be able to meet baby panda cub Xiao Qi Ji in person. But fair warning—he might be napping.

Smithsonian Announces the Zoo and Seven Museums Open in May

You'll finally be able to see the baby panda in person; here's our comprehensive list of what's on view and tips for visiting