A People’s Journey, A Nation’s Story

Welcome to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

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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 Monday, November 23. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media. 

In the meantime, we invite you to explore our virtual exhibitions, online collections and digital resources. Please visit our calendar of events for the latest updates. We appreciate your understanding.

Begin Your Family History Journey

In celebration of Black History Month, the Museum invites you to engage with digital resources to preserve, digitize and share African American family history.
Photographic postcard of Magdalene Hendricks and sister in Eastern Star regalia, early 1920s
01/03

Find Your Family's Roots

Register for virtual genealogy research sessions with Museum experts and learn the basics of researching African American ancestry.
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Shearer Family Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments
02/03

Preserve Your Family's Treasures

Enrich your sense of family and community by preserving your family treasures so they are available for future generations.
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Freedmen's Bureau Record
03/03

Seek Your Ancestors in the Civil War Era

Learn more about the Freedmen's Bureau records for a unique view into the lives of newly freed individuals and the social conditions of the South after the war.
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Featured Exhibition

Journey through the life and family history of Pauli Murray, a pioneering lawyer, activist, writer and priest.
Pauli Murray as a toddler with her family two years before the tragic death of her mother, Agnes Fitzgerald Murray
01/01

Pauli Murray’s Proud Shoes: A Classic in African American Genealogy

This temporary exhibition of the Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family Center showcases the racial and social dynamics between the union of a free black family from the north and a mixed-race family of the south.
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Featured Events & Programs

Join the Museum to celebrate Black History Month with a host of new programs, initiatives and experiences.
Black & white portrait photo of a younger Carter Woodson wearing a suit.
01/01

Celebrating Black History Month

Carter G. Woodson's efforts to spotlight African American history lead to the creation of Black History Month, the observation we celebrate today. Featured also is a set of Museum events for Black History Month 2021.
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Explore the Collection

Discover signature family objects from the Museum's collection
Cradle made by an enslaved person, 1795-1830

Cradle made by an enslaved person, 1795-1830

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Pass for free woman Harriet Lawson to visit her husband, Caleb, May 21, 1832

Pass for free woman Harriet Lawson to visit her husband, Caleb, May 21, 1832

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Shearer Family "Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments," 1875

Shearer Family "Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments," 1875

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Marriage Certificate of Luther Miller Pulce and Irene Jenkins, October 30, 1902

Marriage Certificate of Luther Miller Pulce and Irene Jenkins, October 30, 1902

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Photograph of Senator Henry Hall Falkener and family, ca. 1906

Photograph of Senator Henry Hall Falkener and family, ca. 1906

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Photographic postcard of Harriet Tubman's great nieces, Eva and Alida Stewart, ca. 1910-1914

Photographic postcard of Harriet Tubman's great nieces, Eva and Alida Stewart, ca. 1910-1914

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Photographic postcard of Magdalene Hendricks and sister in Eastern Star regalia, early 1920s

Photographic postcard of Magdalene Hendricks and sister in Eastern Star regalia, early 1920s

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Fishing hat from the Powell family vacation cottage worn by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., mid 20th Century

Fishing hat from the Powell family vacation cottage worn by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., mid 20th Century

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Cradle made by an enslaved person, 1795-1830
Pass for free woman Harriet Lawson to visit her husband, Caleb, May 21, 1832
Shearer Family "Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments," 1875
Marriage Certificate of Luther Miller Pulce and Irene Jenkins, October 30, 1902
Photograph of Senator Henry Hall Falkener and family, ca. 1906
Photographic postcard of Harriet Tubman's great nieces, Eva and Alida Stewart, ca. 1910-1914
Photographic postcard of Magdalene Hendricks and sister in Eastern Star regalia, early 1920s
Fishing hat from the Powell family vacation cottage worn by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., mid 20th Century

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