A People’s Journey, A Nation’s Story

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

Opening Information for Visitors
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The National Museum of African American History and Culture is now open to the public. As we begin a gradual, phased reopening for the Museum, we’re putting safety first with new measures in place to protect everyone’s health.

Please review important visitor information as you plan your visit. The Museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesday and open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is free. Timed-entry passes are required.

African American women activists with signs for voter registration, 1956.
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150 Years and Counting: The Struggle to Secure the Promise of the 15th Amendment

Explore how African Americans have led the fight for voting rights for all Americans from Reconstruction to today.
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Thank You,
Kobe Bryant 

 Kobe Bryant celebrates after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at the Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A five-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant played his entire 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2008. 

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is proud to recognize the generosity of the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation as a Founding Donor, a distinction indicating a commitment of $1 million or more to the Museum prior to its opening in 2016.

We are also proud to house Bryant’s uniform from the 2008 NBA Finals, the year he was named the league MVP, which he donated to the Museum after visiting in 2016. This jersey is now on display in the basketball room of the "Sports: Leveling the Playing Field” gallery.

  • Kobe Bryant sitting on a couch in a room in New York City.
    Kobe Bryant sitting on a couch in a room in New York City. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Walter Iooss.
  • Kobe Bryant scores during Game Five of the 2008 NBA Finals.
    Kobe Bryant scores during Game Five of the 2008 NBA Finals at the Staples Center on June 15, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Larry W. Smith/AFP via Getty Images.
  • Kobe Bryant views the "Sports: Leveling the Playing Field" gallery at NMAAHC Night at the Museum II, Sept 22, 2016.
    Kobe Bryant views the "Sports: Leveling the Playing Field" gallery at NMAAHC Night at the Museum II, Sept 22, 2016. NMAAHC/Tony Powell.

For a generation of people, Kobe Bryant was symbolic of excellence and it was an excellence that transcended the world of sports.

Damion Thomas Sports Curator

A Closer Look

Watch the installation of basketball icon Kobe Bryant’s basketball jersey in the “Sports: Leveling the Playing Field" gallery.

Staff from the National Museum of African American History and Culture prepare the Kobe Bryant jersey for installation in the section honoring African Americans’ contribution to the history of basketball. Bryant wore this important piece of basketball history during Game Five of the 2008 NBA Finals, the year he won the league’s MVP award.

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Featured Exhibition

Community

Sports

Sports matter far beyond the playing fields. Though historically denied opportunities to compete at the highest levels, African American athletes have recorded impressive achievements and also utilized sports to fight for greater rights and freedoms.
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Explore the Collection

Discover signature objects from the Museum's collection in honor of Kobe Bryant
The Fifteenth Amendment. Celebrated May 19th 1870

The Fifteenth Amendment. Celebrated May 19th 1870

At center, a depiction of a parade in celebration of the passing of the 15th Amendment
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Radical Members of the South Carolina Legislature, 1868

Radical Members of the South Carolina Legislature, 1868

A carte-de-visite of sixty-four (64) so-called "Radical" members of the reconstructed South Carolina legislature after the Civil War
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Cabinet card portrait of Thomas Mundy Peterson, 1884

Cabinet card portrait of Thomas Mundy Peterson, 1884

On March 31, 1870, one day after the ratification of the 15th Amendment, which allowed him the right to vote, Thomas Peterson became the first African American to cast a ballot in a U.S. election under the provisions of the 15th Amendment.
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The Fifteenth Amendment. Celebrated May 19th 1870
Radical Members of the South Carolina Legislature, 1868
Cabinet card portrait of Thomas Mundy Peterson, 1884

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