Showing posts with label NMAAHC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NMAAHC. Show all posts

Monday, October 02, 2023

National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrates 10 millionth visitor

It's been seven years since the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on the National Mall. But in that relatively short lifetime for a museum, a stunning number of visitors have stopped by.

On 9/30/23 the NMAAHC welcomed the 10 millionth visitor through its doors.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Michelle Commander Named Deputy Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has announced the selection of its deputy director, Michelle Commander. Commander brings a plethora of experience, leadership and knowledge to the position, most recently working as the deputy director of research and strategic initiatives at The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Prior to that appointment, Commander served as the Schomburg Center’s associate director and curator of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery.

“With her wide-ranging work on global slavery, West Africa, and Afrofuturism, Michelle is deeply anchored in history with an understanding of how historic collections intersect with our contemporary world,” said Kevin Young, Andrew W. Mellon Director of the museum. “She has a demonstrated record of embracing innovation to expand a museum’s reach to various communities.”

As the deputy director for the largest national museum of African American history and culture, Commander will support work on the current Living History campaign and expanding technologies, building upon the museum’s goal to reach every corner of the digital world. She will also be responsible for assisting and collaborating in the overall planning, development and management of the museum’s activities while leading the offices of Education and Publications. Commander will develop partnerships and cultivate an environment of learning and engagement across the Smithsonian museums.

The deputy director is an essential position at NMAAHC, where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience—what it means to their lives, and how it has shaped this nation. In addition to in-person visitors and programs, the museum’s digital initiatives have reached 21 million virtual visitors, illuminating the past and connecting history to the issues of today.

Commander received her doctorate and Master of Arts in American studies and ethnicity from the University of Southern California, Master of Science in curriculum and instruction from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Charleston Southern University. She is a recipient of research fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the Fulbright Scholar Program. Commander is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society. For eight years, Commander served in the Department of English and Program in Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, earning the rank of associate professor before joining the Schomburg Center. She is also consulting curator for the recent Afrofuturism period room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Before Yesterday We Could Fly.” Her books include Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic (Duke University Press, 2017) and Avidly Reads: Passages (NYU Press, 2021). She is the editor of the anthology Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition (Penguin, 2021).

Commander is succeeding the outgoing deputy director, Kinshasha Holman Conwill, who retired in December 2022 after almost two decades of service to NMAAHC. During her time at the museum, Holman Conwill built powerful collaborations to help expand the museum’s collections, foster external partnerships and develop exhibitions and programs.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

“Spirit in the Dark” exhibition open at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its latest exhibition, “Spirit in the Dark: Religion in Black Music, Activism, and Popular Culture,” on Nov. 18. Through never-before-seen objects from the museum’s permanent collection, alongside rare photographs and stories featured in Ebony and Jet magazines, the exhibition explores ways in which religion is a part of the cultural fabric of the African American experience. “Spirit in the Dark” will be on view in the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA) gallery until November 2023.

The exhibition includes photographs of several prominent African Americans, such as Aretha Franklin, Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Reverend Ike and Jesse Jackson, examining religion’s impact on their lives and the larger Black community. Photographs featured in the exhibition are taken from the recently acquired Johnson Publishing Company archive, which is jointly owned by the museum and the Getty Research Institute. “Spirit in the Dark” showcases 37 framed photographs from the JPC archive and approximately 25 objects from the museum’s collection.

“The role of the Black press has always been pivotal in amplifying African American social and religious life,” said Eric Lewis Williams, museum curator of religion. “Ebony and Jet captured and granted rare insight into the lives of influential Black figures, often revealing how religion has inspired, undergirded, and animated the work of Black artists, activists and changemakers. Through these photographs, objects and the larger stories they represent, we are able to highlight the tremendous diversity within the Black religious experience and bear witness to the role of religion in the Black struggle for human dignity and social equality.”

The exhibition spotlights the presence of religion in African American popular culture through three sections, providing a visual exploration of religion’s shadow in both the sacred and secular through images and artifacts. Each section examines the juxtaposition of various diverse aspects of religion and its space in African American life:

· Blurred Lines: Holy | Profane: This section explores how African American musicians and vocalists blur and transgress the boundaries between the holy and the profane. Artists often transport the power of Black sacred music—historically performed in places of worship—into secular or profane spheres, often fusing modalities and moving back and forth between genres.

· Bearing Witness: Protest | Praise: The second section looks at Black religious leaders who dually ministered to the spiritual needs of their people and led as activists in seasons of social protest. Bearing witness to wrongs and lighting the pathway to freedom, these individuals embodied both priestly and prophetic functions in their contributions to leadership in the struggle for Black liberation.

· Lived Realities: Suffering | Hope: The final section journeys through the creative social and political endeavors of Black artists and activists. They have deployed their faith, talents, and moral visions to expose the harsh realities of the suffering and trauma of Black people in America. These same individuals offered bold visions of Black flourishing and hope, emboldening the oppressed in their fight for justice and social equality.

Visitors also will be able to listen to the sounds of the exhibition with a curated playlist of music by artists included in “Spirit in the Dark” and experience the exhibition virtually with a special companion digital exhibition on the Searchable Museum website.

About the Johnson Publishing Company archive

In 2019, a consortium of five nonprofit organizations, including the Ford Foundation, the Getty Trust, the MacArthur Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution, purchased and preserved the JPC archive, which includes more than 4 million prints, negatives, slides, and other photographic formats, as well as 10,000 audiovisual items. The archive is jointly owned by the museum and the Getty Research Institute, which are working together to preserve, catalog and digitize these materials so they can be shared and studied for generations to come.

The archival pigment prints in this exhibition were made in 2022 from the digital files of a legacy collection including 2,800 of the most iconic JPC images, which were digitized between 2007 and 2012 from original prints, slides, negatives, contact sheets, and oversized formats.

About the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life

The museum’s Center for the Study of African American Religious Life organizes public programs and collects religious artifacts that seek to explore religion’s place in African American history and culture and the contemporary roles and needs of faith leaders, faith-based organizations, and African American communities. Through innovative scholarship, the Center expands the ways religion is acknowledged and explored by our nation’s research and cultural institutions. The work of the Center, including the current exhibition, Spirit in the Dark, is generously supported by Lilly Endowment Inc.

About the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts

The Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts is the Museum’s home of visual culture and innovation. Through its changing exhibitions, public programs, and publications, CAAMA showcases the formation of African American history and culture through media arts, including photography, film, video and audio recordings.

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 8.5 million in-person visitors and millions more through its digital presence. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Chadwick Boseman Black Panther costume to be part of NMAAHC exhibition, "Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures."

On March 24, 2023, the National Museum of African American History and Culture museum will debut a major, thought-provoking exhibition, "Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures."

Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures explores the past, present, and future of this dynamic concept in an exhibition that features the various people, unique themes and radical artistry that have given voice to it.

One of the highlights of this new exhibition will be the Black Panther hero costume worn by the late Chadwick Boseman.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Lonnie G. Bunch III Named 2022 Empire State Archives and History Award Laureate

The Empire State Archives and History Award acknowledges the outstanding contributions by a national figure to advance the understanding and uses of history in society.

This year the The New York State Archives Partnership Trust has chosen Lonnie G. Bunch III, the founding director for the National Museum of African American History and Culture as it's 2022 honoree.

Lonnie G. Bunch III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian. He assumed his position June 16, 2019. As Secretary, he oversees 21 museums, including two new museums in development—the National Museum of the American Latino and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers.

Previously, Bunch was the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. When he started as director in July 2005, he had one staff member, no collections, no funding and no site for a museum. Driven by optimism, determination and a commitment to build “a place that would make America better,” Bunch transformed a vision into a bold reality. The museum has welcomed more than 6 million visitors since it opened in September 2016 and compiled a collection of 40,000 objects that are housed in the first “green building” on the National Mall. In 2019, the creation of the museum became the first Smithsonian effort to be the topic of a Harvard Business Review case study.

Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument, the nearly 400,000-square-foot National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history.

Before his appointment as director of the museum, Bunch served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society (2001–2005). There, he led a successful capital campaign to transform the Historical Society in celebration of its 150th anniversary, managed an institutional reorganization, initiated an unprecedented outreach initiative to diverse communities and launched a much-lauded exhibition and program on teenage life titled “Teen Chicago.”

A widely published author, Bunch has written on topics ranging from the black military experience, the American presidency and African American history in California, diversity in museum management and the impact of funding and politics on American museums. His most recent book, A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump, chronicles the making of the museum that would become one of the most popular destinations in Washington.

Bunch served as the curator of history and program manager for the California African American Museum in Los Angeles from 1983 to 1989. While there, he organized several award-winning exhibitions, including “The Black Olympians, 1904–1950” and “Black Angelenos: The Afro-American in Los Angeles, 1850–1950.” He also produced several historical documentaries for public television.

Born in Belleville, New Jersey, Bunch has held numerous teaching positions at universities across the country, including American University in Washington, D.C., the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

In service to the historical and cultural community, Bunch has served on the advisory boards of the American Association of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History. In 2005, Bunch was named one of the 100 most influential museum professionals of the 20th century by the American Alliance of Museums (formerly known as the American Association of Museums).

Among his many awards, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House in 2002 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2010. In 2019, he was awarded the Freedom Medal, one of the Four Freedom Awards from the Roosevelt Institute, for his contribution to American culture as a historian and storyteller; the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from the Hutchins Center at Harvard University; and the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.

In 2020, he was given the Dan David Prize from Tel Aviv University. In 2021, the Society of American Historians awarded Bunch the Tony Horwitz Prize honoring distinguished work in American history of wide appeal and enduring public significance. In 2020, he was given the Dan David Prize from Tel Aviv University. In 2021, Bunch received France’s highest award, The Legion of Honor.

Bunch received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the American University in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

HBCU Homecoming Experience Highlighted at National Museum of African American History and Culture Throughout October

This month the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is going back to the yard to celebrate the history, impact and legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Across NMAAHC’s media platforms, stories focusing on critical aspects of the development of the HBCU experience and their foundation and origins will be amplified. The museum will uplift the culture and the traditions passed down between generations of those who have and will attend HBCUs on its newly created HBCU webpage, including stories from scholars, community members and alums of HBCUs with unique experiences.  

 October programming also features celebrating LGBT History Month Throughout the month, the museum will highlight stories of LGBTQIA+ African Americans. The museum will host its annual Speakeasy Evening, featuring a panel discussion about Ballroom and Beyond with icons Tracey “Africa” Norman, Rayceen Pendarvis and Kevin Aviance. There will also be an evening dance party featuring award-winning DJ MIM with commentary and comedy by trailblazing entertainer Sampson McCormick. 

Highlights of October In-Person and Virtual Programs  

A Speakeasy Evening: Tell Your Story! (program is designed for participants ages 13–24)    
Friday, Oct. 14; 6 p.m.  

This live in-person program invites visitors to participate in a lively discussion with staff from Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders, an organization designed to empower LGBTQ+ youth, and special guest Twiggy Pucci Garçon chief program officer at True Colors United and choreographer for POSE. Museum staff from The Community Curation Program will be available to record visitors’ stories to include in the museum’s online community collection. This program is for participants ages 13 through 24. Admission is free; however, registration is required  

A Speakeasy Evening: Welcome Home!  
Friday, Oct. 14; 7:30 p.m. (in person in the museum’s Heritage Hall) 

The museum will host its annual Speakeasy Evening, which will be in person for the first time in three years. Inspired by the Speakeasy clubs of the Harlem Renaissance, which were welcoming and inclusive places for the African American LGBTQ+ community, the event invites all gender identities and orientations to attend an evening of camaraderie, comedy, dance, music and art making. Highlights of the evening include music by DJ MIM, an award-winning multi-genre DJ who spins an eclectic mix. Commentary and comedy will be provided by Sampson McCormick, an award-winning comedian, trailblazer, actor, writer and film producer. There will be a moderated panel discussion about Ballroom and Beyond with icons Tracey “Africa” Norman, Rayceen Pendarvis and Kevin Aviance. The program is intended for ages 17 and up. Admission is free; however, registration is required

Digital Treasures: Daufuskie Island and Beyond!  
Thursday, Oct. 20; 2 p.m.–5 p.m. (virtual) 

The public is invited to join the latest installment of Digital Treasures and explore the resiliency and preservation of Gullah Geechee heritage. The culturally rich program explores the beauty of Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, and surrounding Gullah communities. Attendees will be able to experience a Ring Shout performance, a quilting circle, historic tours, a virtual Expo Hall and a traditional Gullah meal all from the comfort of their homes. Registration is available beginning Oct. 6 through the museum website.    

Historically Speaking: Exploring Diversity in the Fields of Genomics and Biomedical Sciences
Thursday, Oct. 20; 7 p.m. (In person in the Oprah Winfrey Theater and streaming)  

In the latest installment of the Historically Speaking series, the museum in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute, will explore the experiences of renowned African American biomedical researchers and physicians. Shaniqua McClendon of Crooked Media will moderate a panel with senior researchers affiliated with the National Institutes of Health. Neil Hanchard, April Adams and Shawneequa Callier will discuss why they chose a career in medicine, recount their experiences with mentors, discuss the barriers they overcame in their career and share how they promote more diversity in the field of medicine. Admission is free; however, registration is required 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

The National Museum of African American History and Culture presents the next page from Our American Story

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is proud to present the next page froOur American Storyan online series for Museum supporters. We offer these stories to honor and celebrate the African American experience, share an immensely rich history and culture, and inspire and sustain our community as we move toward the future together.

The Second Great Awakening, an early 19th-century religious revival in the United States, marked an era of transformation for America and a new path forward for Jarena Lee. Born into a free Black family in Cape May, New Jersey, in 1783, Lee navigated the intense religiosity and social reformation of her time to emerge as the nation’s first African American woman preacher and the first woman to be recognized as an evangelist in the male-dominated African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.

Lee’s journey to Christianity began when she moved to Philadelphia as a young adult in 1807. Like many Americans of her time, Lee struggled with changing cultural beliefs on human nature, morality, and the path to salvation. In search of answers, she sought out a personal connection to the gospel and heard the teachings of Bishop Richard Allen, a renowned preacher in Philadelphia. Inspired by his powerful sermons, Lee decided to join the church and get baptized.

But Lee’s journey of faith would be difficult. Lee struggled to find a place for herself and her passion for the gospel within the male-dominated church—a battle that brought on depression and even thoughts of suicide. She also wrestled with the inherent conflict between her spirituality and a desire for “the vanities of this life.”

Despite these challenges, Lee remained determined to go beyond the church and share her faith in Christ with the world, a conviction that she carried back to New Jersey, where she moved with her new husband, Methodist Pastor Joseph Lee, in 1811. While in New Jersey, Lee was able to serve in an African Methodist congregation and nurture her faith—but she still couldn’t practice what she believed was her true calling: preaching.

Seven years into her marriage, Lee became a widow. The grief that followed her husband’s death only strengthened Lee’s conviction to “preach the word of God.” She returned to Philadelphia soon after, determined to advocate for women in the ministry.

Bishop Allen, who by then had founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church, initially refused to grant Lee permission to preach because of the church’s ban on female ministers. But Lee, driven by the intensity of her faith, began delivering sermons wherever she could—in open fields, town squares, and her home.

One day, while attending a Sunday worship service at Bishop Allen’s church, Lee heard a guest preacher struggle with the delivery of his sermon. She sprang into action, picking up where he left off, and presented her own testimony. Bishop Allen was so impressed by Lee’s preaching and boldness that he publicly endorsed her. She was soon permitted to preach, and later became the first ordained woman preacher in the AME Church.

Lee’s evangelical career spanned multiple decades and intersected with her advocacy for equal rights and powerful leadership in the abolitionist movement. Lee also was the first African American woman to publish an autobiographical memoir, The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee, a Colored Lady, Giving an Account of Her Call to Preach the Gospel, which was first released in 1836.

“For as unseemly as it may appear now-a-days for a woman to preach,” Lee wrote, “it should be remembered that nothing is impossible with God. And why should it be thought impossible . . . or improper for a woman to preach?”

The relentless persistence of Jarena Lee, who died in 1864, helped break down barriers and pave the way for African American women to enter the ministry. Her achievements were especially remarkable, given that they occurred during a time when women’s contributions were often overlooked, ignored, or forgotten.

Like so many pioneers of her time, Lee’s story is one of resiliency, optimism, and spirituality—values that are deeply rooted throughout African American history and culture. Although Jarena Lee’s history is not widely known, her legacy as the first African American woman preacher represents an important example of women defying social barriers, transcending traditional gender roles, and touching the hearts, minds, and souls of many.

If you’d like to learn more about Jarena Lee’s incredible journey—or if you are interested in exploring other powerful but lesser-known stories in African American history—please visit our online Searchable Museum today. This groundbreaking—and 2022 CIO Award-winning—initiative by the Museum brings innovative, immersive digital experiences and evocative content directly into the homes of supporters like you.

The Museum’s exhibitions and digital collections help connect individuals with a deeper understanding of the African American story by sharing the lives of pioneers like Jarena Lee. Please help the Museum continue this critical work by joining the Museum or making a donation today.

To learn more about Jarena Lee and other influential figures in African American history, please visit our Searchable Museum.


Friday, January 14, 2022

Original MLK Speech from 1963 March on Washington Returning to African American Museum

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday by displaying the slain civil rights leader’s original speech from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The speech will be on display in the “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom” gallery from Thursday to Feb. 27.

The case with the speech inside, initially on display at the museum in fall 2021, will be reinstalled in time for visitors to see the document before the holiday.

In addition, the museum will be open to the public for normal operating hours (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.), with advanced and same-day free timed entry passes available online. No walk-ups will be allowed.

The speech was originally possessed by basketball coach George Raveling, who got it while volunteering at the 1963 march. Recently, Villanova University gained stewardship and has entered into a long-term loan agreement with the museum to display it.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

National Museum of African American History and Culture to re-open in May

The Smithsonian Institution announced Friday that about half of its museums, along with the National Zoo, will reopen in May after shuttering in November because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is slated to re-open on May 14, 2021. Passes will be available starting May 7th.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) recently announced that the city will ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions on May 1. At that time, museums will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Smithsonian’s African American museum names new director

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has a new president.

On Tuesday, the museum announced that Kevin Young, the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York, will take over for Lonnie Bunch III (the museum’s founding director from 2005 to 2019), who is now the Secretary of the Smithsonian.

The leadership change will take effect Jan. 11, the museum said.

Young, an author, a poet, and an editor, led the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (2016-2020) as the institution acquired the manuscript of Alex Haley’s “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” including a once-lost chapter, and the Harlem-based archives of Harry Belafonte and James Baldwin.

Before Young took the helm at the Schomburg Center, he was a professor at Emory University. He was also the curator of the university’s Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, a 75,000-volume collection of rare and modern poetry, and curator of literary collections.

“I look forward to directing the National Museum of African American History and Culture in this next phase of leadership, after its founding, opening and dynamic exhibitions and events,” said Young in a museum press release. “Having visited the museum myself with my family, I know what a powerful place it is, transforming visitors both in-person and online, and revealing the centrality of African American culture to the American experience. I am eager to engage further directions in the museum’s mission, embracing our digital present and future while furthering conversations around Black history, art, liberation, and joy.”


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

On Friday, September 18, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will reopen to the public.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will begin a gradual, phased reopening for the Museum. The museum will be putting safety first  with new measures in place to protect everyone’s health.  Free,  timed-entry passes will be required for entry. Please review the important information below as you plan your visit.

Learn more about the NMAAHC reopening here: Welcome Back

Saturday, August 01, 2020

The NMAAHC wants your Black Lives Matter protest and Covid19 stories

Last month, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) launched “Voices Of Resistance And Hope,” a web portal where members of Black communities can share their experiences of life during the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

From the NMAAHC web page:

Voices Of Resistance And Hope

Sharing Stories In Times Of Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic and the mass protest movement for police reforms and social justice are affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. We want to know how these issues have affected you.

You are invited to be part of this online collection of personal stories from members of the African American community during the current crises in America. Upload your images, first-hand accounts, personal stories, essays, poems, photographs, short videos or observations. Your personal expressions can help to create shared experiences with others in the nation and reinforce what so many of us are longing for during these turbulent times — an opportunity to celebrate the American values of resiliency, optimism, and spirituality.

You can find out more about Voices of Resistance and Hope or share your story here: Voices Of Resistance And Hope

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Apple donates its proceeds from John Lewis documentary to museums that honor his legacy

In tribute to the life and legacy of civil rights hero and US Congressman John Lewis, Apple will donate its portion of the proceeds from the documentary “John Lewis: Good Trouble” to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
“Representative John Lewis’s life and example compel each of us to continue the fight for racial equity and justice,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “This film celebrates his undeniable legacy, and we felt it fitting to support two cultural institutions that continue his mission of educating people everywhere about the ongoing quest for equal rights.”
“The life and legacy of John Lewis, a National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award recipient, is celebrated throughout the museum,” said Terri Lee Freeman, the National Civil Rights Museum’s president. “This timely contribution will help expand our digital platforms, allowing us to reach many more students, parents, and educators globally, and to continue as a catalyst for positive social change, as Representative Lewis encouraged us all to be. We are grateful to Apple for this incredible gift honoring him.”
“Representative John Lewis was a central leader in helping create the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Because of his pivotal role in American history, he understood the impact a history museum like ours could have on the world,” said Spencer Crew, the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s interim director. “For many years, he was the angel who kept the dream of the museum alive, and he made sure we got the presidential and congressional support needed to open in 2016. As a civil rights leader, he had a vision of what was possible for the nation. He had a similar vision for the museum, which helped make it a reality. Apple’s gift in his honor will help us continue to fulfill our mission.”
Customers in the US and Canada can rent “John Lewis: Good Trouble” at on the Apple TV app, which is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices. In Apple News, customers can explore a special Spotlight collection of curated articles that remember Lewis and celebrate his legacy, as well as listen to a collection of episodes that honor his life from The New York Times, CNN, NPR, and more on Apple Podcasts at
About “John Lewis: Good Trouble”
In her intimate account of legendary US Representative John Lewis’s life and legacy, director Dawn Porter takes audiences through his more than 60 years of extraordinary activism — from the bold teenager on the front lines of the civil rights movement to the legislative powerhouse he was throughout his career. After Lewis petitioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help integrate a segregated school in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, King sent “the boy from Troy” a roundtrip bus ticket to meet with him.
From that meeting onward, Lewis became one of King’s closest allies. Lewis organized Freedom Rides, which left him bloodied or jailed, and stood at the front lines in the historic marches on Washington and Selma. Lewis continued to protect civil rights as a member of Congress. He never lost the spirit of “the boy from Troy” and had called on his fellow Americans to get into “good trouble” until his passing on July 17, 2020. “John Lewis: Good Trouble” is a moving tribute to the real-life hero at the forefront of many hard-won battles for lasting change.

Friday, March 13, 2020

NMAAHC To Close March 14

The following is a statement from the National Museum of African American History and Culture:

As a public health precaution due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the National Museum of African American History and Culture will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14.

We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all our visitors, employees, and volunteers. We are in close communication with local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, we are not announcing a re-opening date at this time.

We will provide updates on a week-to-week basis via our website. Follow @NMAAHC on Twitter for updates about the museum's operating status. In the meantime, we invite you to visit to explore our virtual exhibitions, online collections and educational resources.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Walmart donates $5 Million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Jan. 27, 2020 — Walmart announced today a $5 million grant to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. Walmart’s support of NMAAHC is a part of the company’s continued commitment to advance causes that promote diversity and inclusion.

“The National Museum of African American History & Culture is a vital institution, deepening everyone’s understanding of our nation’s history through the lens of the African American experience,” said Julie Gehrki, vice president of philanthropy at Walmart. “Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting diversity and inclusion, and we are pleased to support the museum as they continue to build out programs to advance their mission.”

This grant is the second donation Walmart has made to support the museum’s initiatives, with the first $5 million donated in 2010 to support the design and construction of the facility. The second investment will benefit the visitor services programs, corporate leadership council and other areas including collections and acquisitions, scholarship and research, education and public programs, exhibitions and emerging technologies.

Since opening in 2016, NMAAHC, the 19th Smithsonian Institution Museum, has welcomed more than 7 million visitors who have explored the exhibits and more than 3,000 artifacts on display. It is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture, and is a public institution open to all, where anyone is welcome to participate, collaborate, and learn more about African American history and culture. Later today, Walmart will host a private event to celebrate the museum’s contributions and acknowledge the critical role the Congressional Black Caucus played in helping to make the museum a reality.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation seek to transform systems to help create more equitable opportunities for all. Specifically, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation invest in work to diversify talent pipelines, build more inclusive small business ownership and enhance community cohesion. Most recently, Walmart funded a report published by FSG, which outlines steps employers can take to remove barriers to advancement of frontline employees of color.

For more information on Walmart’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and philanthropy, please visit

Friday, January 17, 2020

Steph Curry's new sneaker inspired by National Museum of African American History & Culture

Although NBA star Stephen Curry is sidelined with an injury, Under Armour continues to release fresh colorways of his latest signature shoe, the Curry 7. The latest look is inspired by the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., arriving just in time for Black History Month.

The limited-edition Under Armour Curry 7 “Our History,” according to the brand, was inspired by the Golden State Warriors’ trip to the museum in February 2018 as well as Curry’s fascination with the venue, which was designed by architect David Adjaye. Under Armour said the brand and the baller reflected on the trip when coming up with the design and concept behind the BHM shoe.

The Curry 7 “Our History” shoe features tiers of brown, olive and bronze (as well as hits of neon green), which is reminiscent of the museum’s three-tiered exterior. Further diving into the theme, Under Armour placed the museum’s longitude and latitude coordinates on the heel tab.

The Under Armour Curry 7 “Our History” arrives Jan. 20 on and at UA Brand Houses and select retailers, and it will retail for $140. Ahead of the release, a limited number of pairs will drop on Jan. 18 on the SC30 product wall at the Chase Center Warriors Shop at Thrive City in San Francisco.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

No Passes Required and Extended Holiday Hours For National Museum of African American History & Culture

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will welcome visitors for no-pass entry and extended hours next Thursday, Dec. 26 through Monday, Dec. 30.

Starting on Dec. 26, the museum will be open 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Individuals will be able to enter the museum without a pass on Dec. 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30. Groups of 10 or more require a pass every day. Regular visitation procedures will resume Dec. 31. The museum’s full visitation policies are found at