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Anacostia Community Museum

Anacostia Community Museum

Washington, DC

The mission of the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum is to enhance understanding of contemporary urban experiences and strengthen community bonds by conserving the past, documenting the present, and serving as a catalyst for shaping the future.

ADDRESS

1901 Fort Place, SE

Washington, DC 20020

(202) 633-4820

acminfo@si.edu
Website

HOURS

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily

Closed December 25

Download Floor Plan

METRO

Anacostia (Green Line) Transfer to W2 or W3 bus

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"Southeast Neighborhood House—Program Center" Sign

Founded in 1929 as a social services organization, the Southeast Neighborhood House rose to national prominence in the 1960s because of its community organizing work, especially the creation of the youth-led “Rebels With a Cause.”


The Rebels grew to more than 500 members and successfully advocated for new recreation centers, pools, improved roads and traffic lights, and the creation of their own school, and drew support from renowned entertainer Eartha Kitt, who testified before Congress on their behalf. “Being the champions for the youth in the Anacostia area, the Rebels have led the way for action for other youth groups in Washington," she said. “The Rebels could act as a model for all urban areas throughout the United States.”

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Smithsonian Institution
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Chuck Brown's Guitar

Main Gallery

This guitar belonged to the “Godfather of go-go music,” Charles Louis “Chuck” Brown (1936-2012), who energized the Washington D.C. music scene during the late 1960s and 1970s. Go-go was played in dance venues around the city by bands with names like Young Senators, Black Heat and Aggression. A sub-genre of funk music, it blends rhythm, blues, funk and early hip-hop with an emphasis on a syncopated percussion beat.

"Twelve Years that Shook and Shaped Washington: 1963-1975" open through October 23, 2016

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Smithsonian Institution

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History Buff
African-American Stories
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Dark Star, undated

Main Gallery

The strong colors, rectilinear shapes, and mottled surface of this work Dark Star by Howard Mehring (1931-1978) create an abiding sense of movement. A member of the Washington Color School, Mehring was influenced by abstract expressionism, the color field movement and also the national political turmoil of the 1960s.

"Twelve Years that Shook and Shaped Washington: 1963-1975" open through October 23, 2016

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Smithsonian Institution

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History Buff
African-American Stories
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New Thing Art Class Poster

The New Thing Art & Architecture Center, founded by activist, architect, and filmmaker Topper Carew in 1967, served as a community-based architecture and planning organization, as well as a multidisciplinary arts center. Carew assembled an all-star staff of photographers, filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, and dancers to teach and empower hundreds of young people from across Washington, DC. The New Thing also held community-friendly weekly concerts for $1 that featured luminaries like Shirley Horn, Donald Byrd, Roberta Flack, and Elizabeth Cotton, among many others. Percy Martin is the artist responsible for this advertisement.

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Smithsonian Institution
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Orange and Red Haitian Drum

This is the drum of Paul Hawkins, a percussionist and bandleader who was a pioneer of the Latin Jazz scene in Washington, D.C. and performed as part of The New Thing Art & Architecture’s weekly Jazz Workshop concert series.

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Smithsonian Institution
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Portrait Print of Ethel Payne

In 2002, the U. S. Postal Service honored four female reporters for their contribution to American journalism by issuing commemorative postage stamps. Among the honorees was "First Lady of the black press" Ethel L. Payne, who covered the White House through seven presidents and the civil rights movement.


The award-winning journalist was known to ask difficult questions, especially pertaining to segregation, and to blend advocacy with journalism. A trailblazer, Payne became the first African American woman commentator employed by a national network when CBS hired her for their television series “Spectrum.” The journalist was also the first black female to focus on international news, and one of the first female White House correspondents of African descent. President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 – 1973) invited her to witness his signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and she traveled with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during his tour of Africa in 1970s.


A collection of Ethel Payne materials including photographs, awards, passports and artifacts was donated to the Anacostia Community Museum in 1991. The bulk of Payne’s personal papers were donated to Howard University before the reporter’s death. This unflinching, colorful portrait by Brian McFarlane is a fitting reminder of Payne's impact.

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Smithsonian Institution

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Women's History
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Shovel from 1985 Anacostia Metro Groundbreaking Ceremony

This shovel was used in the 1985 groundbreaking ceremony for the Anacostia Metro station in Washington, D.C. William T. Fauntroy, Jr., a Tuskegee Airman, a D.C. native, and the first African American civil engineer to be hired by the National Capital Transportation Agency, helped plan the Green Line Metro route with input from the local Anacostia community.

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Smithsonian Institution
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White House Pen

Main Gallery

This is one of the pens used by President Lyndon Baines Johnson on August 6, 1965, in signing the Voting Rights Act. The Act prohibits racial discrimination in voting at the local, state and national levels, and is considered among the most effective pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history.

"Twelve Years that Shook and Shaped Washington: 1963-1975" open through October 23, 2016

Guides that Feature this Artifact

Smithsonian Institution

Themed Tours that Feature this Artifact

History Buff
African-American Stories

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