As a public health precaution due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the National Museum of African American History and Culture temporarily closed to the public starting Saturday, March 14. We are not announcing a re-opening date at this time and will provide updates on a regular and as needed basis. Check out online resources below.
NMAAHC Curator Chats Series: The New Negro Renaissance During World War I
During Memorial Day, the museum debuted a new online video series named Curator Chats. In the first video of the series, museum specialist Tulani Salahu-Din discusses the emergence of the New Negro Renaissance during World War I. Curator Chats are video portraits of NMAAHC curators and museum specialists providing insight and anecdotes on exhibitions and upcoming projects. The first segment from Curator Chats is available at https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/curator-chats.
NMAAHC Blog: Delaying Funerals Until?It Is?Safe to Gather Has Roots in African American “Secondary Burial” Traditions
The museum’s blog now features a new essay describing the traditions of African Americans in the Carolinas, who delayed funeral services and mourning practices until it was feasible to gather. In the blog “Delaying Funerals Until?It Is?Safe to Gather Has Roots in African American ‘Secondary Burial’ Traditions,” curator Elaine Nichols explores ways African American burial customs and traditions can offer some historical context for many those grieving the loss of loved ones and unable to conduct funerals. The museum’s blog is available athttps://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/blog.
NMAAHC Summer Reading Challenge 2020: “Reading Through the Galleries”
Monday, June 15–Monday, Aug. 31
The museum is presenting a new digital experience this summer, the “NMAAHC Summer Reading Challenge 2020: Reading Through the Galleries.” This is a self-guided virtual program for third through 12th-grade students and their educators/guardians to read books related to themes of African American history. The program begins June 15 and concludes Aug. 31. Each month, the museum will share a booklist with book-related enrichment activities highlighting the museum’s three thematic areas: history, community and culture. Participants can view the NMAAHC Summer Reading Challenge at https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/students.
Every Monday in June; 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
In this virtual program, participants will contemplate the journey of black Americans toward liberation through meditation. During the 45-minute guided meditation session, attendees will have an opportunity to reflect on their liberation, closing with a brief discussion on the meaning of freedom. Meditator, yoga instructor and fundraising professional Ericka Phillips will lead the sessions. No experience, equipment or special clothing is necessary. Admission is free, and the program is available at nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
COVID-19: Crisis in Public Health and Trust
Tuesday, June 16; 11 a.m. to noon
A panel of the nation’s foremost experts discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and its lasting impact on the African American community. Panelists include Algernon Austin, Ph.D., senior researcher, Thurgood Marshall Institute, NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Lisa Cooper, M.D. MPH, Johns Hopkins University, general internist, social epidemiologist and health services researcher; Spencer R. Crew, acting director, NMAAHC; David McBride, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, professor emeritus, Department of African American Studies and History; and Selwyn Vickers, M.D., vice president of medicine, University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine. Michel Martin, weekend host of NPR’s All Things Considered will moderate the discussion. The program will be available for viewing at nmaahc.si.edu.
National History Day (NHD) at NMAAHC Student Documentary Showcase
Wednesday, June 17–Wednesday, June 24
(Smithsonian Learning Lab)
In collaboration with National History Day (NHD), the museum will showcase select short student documentaries created for the NHD competition that embody the mission and stories reflected in the museum. Student films were created based on this year’s theme narrative: Breaking Barriers in History. This program is supported by United Airlines. Admission is free; the showcase will be available for viewing at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
The Community at Home on Juneteenth
Friday, June 19; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Juneteenth holiday commemorates June 19, 1865. On that day, approximately two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved communities in Texas learned they were free. During NMAAHC’s online celebration of Juneteenth, participants will enjoy live activities, including a discussion of the Juneteenth holiday led by the museum’s Oral History Manager Kelly Navies, based on her family’s long tradition of Juneteenth celebrations; a genealogy exercise led by an expert from the museum’s Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center; and a tale celebrating the ancestors told by renowned storyteller Diane Macklin. The program will be available for viewing at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
Artists at Home
Wednesday, June 24 (program occurs weekly)
In this digital, interactive program, students will engage in hands-on art-making and conversations about African American artists and different genres of visual art. Each session, led by an NMAAHC educator, will focus on a unique visual art piece and encourage discussion around a central question. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on art project using household materials. This program is for students from grades six–12. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
The Premiere of John Lewis—Good Trouble
Wednesday, June 27; 7 p.m.
Director Dawn Porter uses interviews and rare archival footage in her highly-anticipated documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble. A Magnolia Pictures and Participant release, the film chronicles the U.S. Congressman from Georgia John Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on issues ranging from voting rights to immigration. A post-screening discussion will include a conversation between Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch and Porter. The film will be released in theaters and on-demand July 3. A limited number of tickets for this virtual screening will be available at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
*This information is provided by the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.
For more information about this museum, visit our National Museum of African American History and Culture page.