Slavery

Some of the newspaper articles describe the buying and selling of enslaved people, while others offer rewards for the return of runaways.

Ancestry Releases Records of 183,000 Enslaved Individuals in America

The genealogy company has digitized and published 38,000 newspaper articles from between 1788 and 1867—before Black Americans were counted as citizens in the U.S. census

A Juneteenth celebration held in Brooklyn, New York, on June 18, 2023

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

The celebration commemorates June 19, 1865, when a military decree informed the people of Texas that all enslaved people were free

"Top Chef" contestant Eric Adjepong's scallop yassa

These Chefs Are Elevating African and Caribbean Cuisines From Carryouts to Fine Dining

More Americans are eating and learning about dishes such as fufu and curried goat in establishments recognized by the highest echelon of the culinary world

A romanticized 1920 depiction of the capture of Blackbeard, one of history's most notorious pirates

Who Were the Real Pirates of the Caribbean?

During the Golden Age of Piracy, thousands of sea dogs sought fame and fortune. But the reality of a pirate's life was less enticing than movies and television shows suggest

Dutch settlers "bought" the island of Manahatta from the Lenape in 1626.

Happy 400th Birthday to New Amsterdam, the Dutch Settlement That Became New York

In 1624, Dutch settlers arrived in Manhattan. Now, officials are marking the milestone with an honest examination of the past

Suzan-Lori Parks' Sally & Tom makes its New York debut on April 16.

This Play Within a Play Confronts the Power Dynamic Between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson

In "Sally & Tom," Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks continues her investigation of American myths

Liverpool artist William Lindsay Windus painted The Black Boy in 1844.

This Museum Needs Your Help Identifying the Subject of a 19th-Century Painting

Nobody knows the name of the child in "The Black Boy," but a museum in Liverpool is hoping someone will recognize him

Two unidentified Gullah Geechee women photographed by Lorenzo Dow Turner in the early 1930s

How the Memory of a Song Reunited Two Women Separated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

In 1990, scholars found a Sierra Leonean woman who remembered a nearly identical version of a tune passed down by a Georgia woman’s enslaved ancestors

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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

A white Baptist woman named Harriet M. Buss taught Civil War hero Robert Smalls (pictured) how to read and write.

What a Teacher's Letters Reveal About Robert Smalls, Who Stole a Confederate Ship to Secure His Freedom From Slavery

Harriet M. Buss' missives home detail the future congressman's candid views on race and the complicity of Confederate women

A close-up of Sojourner Truth’s face in statue created by Woodrow Nash. An 1883 New York Times obituary described Truth’s “tall, masculine-looking figure” and “deep, guttural, powerful voice.”

The Remarkable Untold Story of Sojourner Truth

Feminist. Preacher. Abolitionist. Civil rights pioneer. Now the full story of the American icon's life and faith is finally coming to light

In 18th-century Venice, Carnival masks created a temporary feeling of equality between the ruling class and the lower classes.

A Brief History of How Carnival Is Celebrated Around the World

Here’s how Venice, Rio de Janeiro, Trinidad and Tobago, New Orleans, and Quebec City mark the pre-Lenten season

The First Supper (Galaxy Black), Tavares Strachan, 2023

Monumental Sculpture Reimagines 'The Last Supper' With Black Historical Figures

Tavares Strachan's "The First Supper" took four years to sculpt and is now on display at an exhibition in London

Abraham Lincoln’s third annual message to Congress spurred prompt and consequential action on what became the first piece of proactive federal legislation to encourage, rather than discourage, immigration to the U.S.

Abraham Lincoln's Oft-Overlooked Campaign to Promote Immigration to the U.S.

A few weeks after the president delivered the Gettysburg Address, he called on Congress to welcome immigrants as a "source of national wealth and strength"

A late-19th-century photograph of John Mason's mansion on Analostan Island, now called Theodore Roosevelt Island

This Peaceful Nature Sanctuary in Washington, D.C. Sits on the Ruins of a Plantation

Before Theodore Roosevelt Island was transformed into a tribute to the nation's "conservation president," a prominent Virginia family relied on enslaved laborers to build and tend to its summer home there

Genealogy researchers use military records, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, wills, legal and court documents, and census records to help piece together the past.

How the Smithsonian Is Helping Black Americans Trace Their Roots

Free sessions hosted by the National Museum of African American History and Culture offer visitors advice on researching their genealogy

This May brings the Kunstsilo Nordic Art Museum to the southern Norwegian city of Kristiansand.

The Most Anticipated Museum Openings of 2024

Scheduled to launch this year are new institutions dedicated to astronomy, Nintendo and women artists

An illustration of Lucayan divers spearfishing for parrotfish, turtles and conch

How Archaeologists Are Unearthing the Secrets of the Bahamas' First Inhabitants

Spanish colonizers enslaved the Lucayans, putting an end to their lineage by 1530

Born in Cameroon, Ada Anagho Brown moved to the United States as a child and now plans trips to Central and West African countries based on her clients’ DNA.

A Journey to Discover an African Homeland

New generations of Black Americans are taking intimate tours that connect them with the lands and cultures their ancestors were forced to leave behind

Sunlight illuminates a plaque in Charleston, South Carolina, honoring 36 likely enslaved people—ranging in age from 3 to over 50—whose remains were discovered in 2013.

A New Project Uses Isotopes to Pinpoint the Birthplaces of the Enslaved

In South Carolina, members of the local Black community are teaming up with scientists to produce a novel study of the trans-Atlantic slave trade

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