Civil Rights

The 1892 People's Grocery murders are “what opened my eyes to what lynching really was,” Ida B. Wells later wrote.

How the Murder of a Black Grocery Store Owner and His Colleagues Galvanized Ida B. Wells' Anti-Lynching Crusade

The saga of People's Grocery stands as a powerful reminder of the centrality of Black radicalism to the food justice movement

Members of the Little Rock Nine study together after being blocked from Little Rock Central High in 1957.

Little Rock Nine and Paul McCartney React to Beyoncé's 'Blackbird' Cover

McCartney was inspired to write the song after hearing about the battle to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957

William H. Johnson, Harriet Tubman, ca. 1945, oil on paperboard.

How Painting Portraits of Freedom Fighters Became William H. Johnson’s Life’s Work

A new exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum brings together the Black Modernist painter’s most famous series for the first time in more than 75 years

None

Before Beyonce and Taylor Swift Ran the World, There Was Joan Baez

Today’s artists—especially women—are sometimes criticized for speaking out, but for Baez, art and activism were indivisible

Mario Van Peebles directs and stars in a new film titled Outlaw Posse.

How a Century of Black Westerns Shaped Movie History

Mario Van Peebles' "Outlaw Posse" is the latest attempt to correct the erasure of people of color from the classic cinema genre

Members of the National Negro Opera Company pose backstage during a 1941 performance of Aida.

The Founder of This Trailblazing Opera Company Put Black Singers at Center Stage

Mary Cardwell Dawson created unprecedented opportunities for aspiring Black musicians

None

How to Separate Fact From Myth in the Extraordinary Story of Sojourner Truth

Two historians tell us why the pioneering 19th-century feminist, suffragist and abolitionist’s legacy has so frequently been misrepresented

The bronze statue of Jackie Robinson (left) was unveiled in Wichita in early 2021. In late January, perpetrators cut off the statue at the ankles, leaving only a pair of shoes (right).

Who Stole—and Burned—This Jackie Robinson Statue?

Donations poured in to help replace the bronze statue, which a youth baseball nonprofit unveiled in 2021

For the year 2024, here are 24 things to look forward to at the Smithsonian.

Twenty-Four Smithsonian Shows to See in 2024

Election-year items, truth serum, Nigerian art and a pioneering self-driving car are on display this year

This year's top titles include The Last Ride of the Pony Express, Elixir, Airplane Mode, and more.

The Ten Best Books About Travel of 2023

Take a trip without leaving home with these adventurous reads from this year

A portrait of the congressman by the famous photographer Mathew Brady, c. 1860.

Why America Is Just Now Learning to Love Thaddeus Stevens, the 'Best-Hated Man' in U.S. History

The Pennsylvanian was one of America’s greatest heroes. Why hasn’t he gotten his due?

This year's titles include Daughter of the Dragon, Whalefall and Witness.

Smithsonian Scholars Recommend Their Favorite Books of 2023

Curators and staffers satisfied their endless curiosity with novels, short stories, biographies, art collections and journalistic reporting

Will Liverman performs during the dress rehearsal of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X at the Metropolitan Opera, which runs through December 2

Malcolm X Opera Opens in New York

The Afrofuturist production examines the civil rights leader's legacy and lasting influence

Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in Rustin, a new film directed by George C. Wolfe

The Real History Behind Netflix's 'Rustin' Movie

A new film finally spotlights Bayard Rustin, the gay civil rights activist who organized the 1963 March on Washington

Foundry workers disassembled Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue before melting it down.

Foundry Workers Melt Down Charlottesville's Divisive Robert E. Lee Statue

Eventually, an artist will be chosen to transform the bronze bars into a public art installation

Narges Mohammadi, pictured here in April 2021, won the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize for advocating for women's rights in Iran.

Nobel Peace Prize Goes to Iranian Rights Activist Narges Mohammadi

Mohammadi, who is currently in prison, is at the forefront of the fight against oppression in Iran

Jack Trice (second from left) and three of his teammates on the varsity football squad

This Black Football Player Was Fatally Injured During a Game. A Century Later, a College Stadium Bears His Name

Rival athletes trampled Jack Trice during his "first real college game." He died two days later at age 21

Performers at the 1963 Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Ron Patterson, a co-founder of the event, appears in orange at the far right.

The Surprisingly Radical Roots of the Renaissance Fair

The first of these festivals debuted in the early 1960s, serving as a prime example of the United States' burgeoning counterculture

A still from the upcoming movie Rustin, which tells the story of Bayard Rustin, a key orchestrator behind the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Watch the Trailer for 'Rustin,' Which Spotlights the Man Behind the 1963 March on Washington

The new film dramatizes Bayard Rustin's efforts to pull off an event of unprecedented scale

In 1963, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. waves to the largest crowd ever to participate in a civil rights demonstration in Washington, D.C. where he delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech.

To Mark the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' Speech Goes on Display

The draft on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture was produced a few hours before King took to the podium

Page 1 of 20