Home National museum The National Museum of African American History and Culture connects the past, present and future through living history. the fifth anniversary

The National Museum of African American History and Culture connects the past, present and future through living history. the fifth anniversary


The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrates the fifth anniversary of its opening under the theme “Living History.” The centerpiece of the celebration today is the opening of a new exhibition titled, “Make Good the Promises: Reconstruction and Its Legacies.” The exhibit and its accompanying book explore the era of reconstruction through the African American experience, connecting the era to today’s efforts to keep the promises of the Constitution. The exhibit is on view until August 21, 2022 in the museum’s Bank of America Special Exhibitions Gallery.

In its first five years, the museum welcomed over 7.5 million in-person visitors from 103 countries and over 15.4 million visitors to its website. Its social networks have recorded more than 604 million impressions and gained more than 630,000 subscribers. Its collections have grown steadily: nearly 10,000 new objects bring the total collection to around 40,000. The museum has won over 60 awards in fields ranging from social media, website and architecture to the arts and culinary technologies. It has hosted more than 250 virtual and in-person public programs, including children’s workshops, film and book discussions, and panel discussions covering various topics in African American history and culture.

Over the past five years, the museum has engaged audiences in new ways and made African American history and culture more immediately accessible, an effort that the pandemic has accelerated.

?? On this momentous day of our fifth anniversary, the museum is delighted to welcome visitors in person and online, ?? said Kevin Young, director Andrew W. Mellon of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. ?? Even as we celebrate this milestone, we look back, look around, and envision a full year of activities, programs and exhibits that tell the story of America through an African-American lens, moving from slavery to freedom, from past to present, Reconstruction in Reckoning. ??

The museum commemorates five years of “Living History” highlighting five aspects of history and culture:

Living history

Through exhibitions, programs and publications, the museum shares stories that reflect the past, present and future. Several initiatives are underway to help record and preserve African American history and culture. Featured in an interactive exhibit at the Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center, the Freedmen’s Bureau Records transcription project has transcribed over 280,000 pages, making these records available to the public and to researchers involved in historical and genealogical research. . Since its launch in 2016, more than 31,000 people around the world have transcribed material from Freedmen? S Bureau Records.

Through its oral history initiative, the museum documents, preserves and interprets African-American stories through filmed interviews with people who have made history or who have witnessed history in the making. to do. His Civil Rights History Project brought together first-person accounts of key moments in the civil rights movement.

Digital present

Since its opening, the museum has reinvented the visitor experience through its digital platforms, offering new ways to connect with visitors and bring the museum out of its walls. He has created a number of online exhibitions, including “Cultural Expressions”? and ?? Sports: leveling the playing field ?? and the genealogy of Pauli Murray, a pioneering lawyer, activist, writer and episcopal priest.

The museum has also launched several digital programs and initiatives, including:

  • The Talking About Race web portal, designed to help individuals, families, educators and communities talk about racism and racial identity.
  • The March on Washington resource web page explores the historical significance of the 1963 March through a collection of artifacts, stories, photographs and videos.
  • The Juneteenth resource web page explains the origins and cultural traditions of Juneteenth, the holiday marking the day enslaved African Americans learned they had been freed some two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation of emancipation.
  • The museum’s most recent digital initiative, ?? Searchable Museum, ?? brings the museum experience to visitors from around the world. In October, the museum will launch a new web experience that allows visitors to access select exhibits online, encapsulating the in-person visitor experience and transporting those who wish to visit or virtually return to the museum. The first iteration of the searchable museum will feature content from the museum ?? s ?? Slavery and Freedom ?? exposure.

Collaboration and community

The museum has partnered with several institutions and organizations to cultivate and preserve African-American artifacts:

  • The Slave Wrecks Project searches for slave ships, reclaiming the history and humanity of those who have been captured and enslaved. This is one of the museum’s oldest and ongoing collaborative projects, in partnership with George Washington University, the National Park Service and several organizations in South Africa, Mozambique, Senegal and Sainte -Cross (US Virgin Islands).
  • The archives of the Johnson Publishing Company? the Johnson Publisihing Co. published the Ebony and Jet magazines. Its archives were acquired in 2019 and purchased by a consortium of foundations: the Ford Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • The consortium of five historically black colleges was established by the museum in March 2021 to preserve their art collections and archives.
  • The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap is a one-of-a-kind collector’s item that chronicles the growth and impact of hip-hop over the past 45 years. The anthology is a collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways.

Collecting the new and the present

The museum has acquired several objects to document contemporary social justice campaigns, including the Black Lives Matter movement. He assembled a rapid response team to collect photographs, banners and film footage of protests across the country in response to the murder of George Floyd, capturing expressions of outrage and hope in real time.

During the Smithsonian-wide 24 Hours in a Time of Change, the museum has assembled stories showing how individuals and families struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Museum’s Robert F. Smith Fund Community Conservation Platform is an innovative project that collects stories from the African American community, enabling them to share their own unique stories to preserve and share the history and culture of the community. In 2021, the museum jointly acquired Amy Sherald’s portrait of Breonna Taylor with the Speed ​​Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

Social justice

The museum has created and provided several resources, initiatives and exhibits that explore and educate the public about social justice through the contributions of its generous donors and members. Earlier this month, the museum opened a new visual arts exhibition called ?? Reckoning: Protest. Challenge. Resilience, ?? which documents the struggle that black Americans have faced in their quest to enjoy the fundamental rights and freedoms promised in the Constitution as citizens of the United States. ?? Calculation: protest. Challenge. Resilience ?? can be seen on the fourth floor of the museum.

His latest exhibition, ?? Make Good the Promises: Reconstruction and Its Legacies, ?? tells the story of millions of newly liberated African Americans after the Civil War and their determination continues to be recognized as free and equal citizens in the United States today. ?? Keeping the promises: reconstruction and its legacies ?? is located in the museum’s Bank of America Special Exhibitions Gallery, located on the lobby level.

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Since its opening on September 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 7.5 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, DC, the nearly 400,000 square foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploration, the documentation and presentation of African American history. and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or call the Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.

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