May Programming at the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will host programming throughout May, featuring an anniversary program about the Tulsa Massacre with Victor Luckerson, a book talk with renowned immigration lawyer and activist Loida Lewis, a special Mother’s Day menu at the Sweet Home Café and the launch of the museum’s new Juneteenth merchandise.
Historically Speaking: Examining the Ethics of DNA Research Within the African American Community
Tuesday, May 9; 7 p.m.–8 p.m.
Genomic research has made possible advances in medicine, biotechnology and genetic genealogy. Despite these advancements, African Americans have historically been underrepresented in medical research due to a long-documented history of unethical treatment and harmful experiments. This history has fostered mistrust in medical research in African American communities, disproportionately impacting health disparities. In the museum’s final collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute, an expert panel of scholars and researchers will discuss the abuses of medical investigations, how the scientific community has established ethical boundaries for research and how genomic research can provide insight into the history, ancestry and the cultural identity of African Americans. Admission is free; however, registration is required.
Community Day: Hidden No More—Outstanding Classical Vocal Artists You Need to Know
Thursday, May 18; 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
The museum will host two extraordinary musical programs that highlight talented youth and uncover the history of overlooked African American classical artists.
Shared Voices, a program of the Denyce Graves Foundation, is a collaboration between HBCUs and music schools that promotes equity and inclusion in American classical vocal arts by championing the hidden musical figures of the past while uplifting diverse young artists. This year’s students from eight academic institutions will present their capstone projects in the museum’s Heritage Hall.
The United States Navy Band’s Woodwind Quintet will perform “Afrophilia,” a chamber work by Jaylin Vinson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Vinson received the Navy’s inaugural Alton Augustus Adams Sr. Award for Emerging Composers for “Afrophilia.” Admission is free; however, registration is required.
Historically Speaking: Why Should Guys Have All the Fun?
Sunday, May 21; 2 p.m.–3 p.m. ET
Oprah Winfrey Theater and Virtual
In Why Should Guys Have All the Fun, a memoir by Loida Lewis, the renowned immigration lawyer and activist begins with her upbringing in the Philippines and then her love affair with and subsequent marriage to financier Reginald Lewis, a trailblazing entrepreneur and financier. Lewis also shares how she dealt with her husband’s sudden death at 50 and raised their two daughters while running a multinational corporation. Best-selling author Dolen Perkins-Valdez, associate professor of English at George Washington University, will moderate the program. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing, courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. Admission is free; however, registration is required.
History Alive!: African American Soldiers in the Vietnam War
Sunday, May 28; 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m.
“Double Victory: The African American Military Experience” Exhibition
Visitors can attend one of the museum’s History Alive! programs and hear real stories about Blacks in the military and explore themes of freedom, self-determination, citizenship, valor and much more. Join living history performer John W. McCaskill to learn about the experiences of African Americans in the Vietnam War in this 20-minute program. Admission is free.
Historically Speaking: Built from the Fire by Victor Luckerson: A Chronicle of the Tulsa Uprising
Tuesday, May 30; 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Oprah Winfrey Theater and Virtual
The museum is again working with author Victor Luckerson to present his new book, Built from the Fire: The Epic Story of Tulsa's Greenwood District, America’s Black Wall Street. Luckerson weaves together archival research of the historic Greenwood community of Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the family narrative of the Goodwin family. In this riveting book, Luckerson discusses how J.H. Goodwin left Mississippi for Tulsa in 1913 and survived the massacre May 31, 1921. Goodwin remained in Tulsa to help other survivors overcome obstacles to reestablish the area as a rich wellspring of Black culture and business. Goodwin’s fighting spirit lives on in his great-granddaughter Regina Goodwin, the only Black woman in Oklahoma’s House of Representatives. During this talk, Luckerson will connect Goodwin’s work with the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing work of current Black residents of Tulsa, where residents and supporters are uncovering mass graves of the victims and amplifying the legacy of the massacre within broader American history. Admission is free; however, registration is required.
Special Offerings at Sweet Home Café
The museum’s Sweet Home Café will feature a special brunch menu created by Denise Jones, the Sweet Home Café’s general manager, for Mother’s Day, May 14. The café offers various special menus throughout May, including Cinco de Mayo, Asian Pacific Heritage Month and Memorial Day. More details are available.
Coming Soon: Juneteenth Commemorative Collection
The museum’s new Juneteenth merchandise collection, including tote bags, scarves, tumblers, shirts, towels and more, launches May 5. More details are available here beginning May 5.
About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 9 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story 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 Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.
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