A People’s Journey
A Nation’s Story
Welcome to the Smithsonian
National Museum of African American History & Culture
Powerful moments in African American
history, culture, and community.
Carlotta Walls LaNier's Dress
In 1957, Carlotta Walls and six other African American students took on the difficult, dangerous task of integrating Little Rock Central High School. This dress tells the story of "Little Rock Nine" and the fight for a quality education for all Americans.
Lives in Pieces
These shards are from the stained glass windows of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama and were picked up from the street in front of the church by the donor who would attend the funeral held for three of the four girls killed in the bombing.
Frances Albrier was a leader in the American struggle for civil, labor, and human rights. Her collection brings into focus the role of west coast activists in the mid-twentieth century.
Float Like A Butterfly
He dazzled us with his skill and charmed us with his wit. Muhammad Ali floated his way into the history books as one of the greatest athletes of all time. This training headgear is a testament to the hard work and dedication it took Ali to reach the pinnacle of sports history.
The Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927
Devastating floods alter landscapes, ruin lives, and change the course of history.
Pretty in Pink
This Ann Lowe pink satin gown is an example of the perfect party dress of the 1950s, with its flattering cut, sparkly beadwork, and unique pops of unexpected color and texture.
Harry & Harriette Moore Collection
On Christmas Day, 1951, the NAACP's field secretary for Florida Harry Tyson Moore, and his wife, Harriette, were murdered. It was the first killing of a prominent civil rights leader after World War II.
We Are Family
This photograph came with only a short summary from a historian but captures a moment in the lives of many people, the enslaved subjects of the photograph, the soldier photographer and even the enslaver.
Carl Lewis won a staggering ten Olympic medals – nine of them gold – in track and field events while competing in four Olympic Games from 1984 to 1996.
African Americans and Leisure
From the late 19th to the mid-20th century, African Americans around the country sought leisure destinations where they could relax without the burden of racial oppression. This month explore historically black leisure traditions in the United States.
The African American experience is the lens through which we understand what it is to be an American.Lonnie G. Bunch III Founding Director, NMAAHC