Museum News

One-Man Show ‘Frederick Douglass Now’ Leads July Public Programming at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

June 28, 2018
July programs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture open with a performance by Roger Guenveur Smith in his one-man theater piece Frederick Douglass Now. The script, written by the Obie Award-winning actor, draws on some of the most powerful speeches delivered by Douglass.
 
Douglass was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Eventually escaping to freedom, he became an inspiring abolitionist, orator and writer, authoring several autobiographies chronicling his experiences as a slave, most famously the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.
 
Busy as an actor in television and feature films, Smith played the title role in the 2017 release of Rodney King, a one-man theater piece written by Smith and directed by Spike Lee. The performance of Frederick Douglass Now will take place Sunday, July 1, at 7 p.m. in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater. Admission is free, but registration is required at www.etix.com.
 
More July Public Programs
Spotlighting African Fashion
Sunday, July 1; 1 to 2 p.m.
Oprah Winfrey Theater
Through short films and commentary by designers and historians, this program, “A Look at the Current and Future State of African Fashion,” explores fashion ranging from haute couture to the street styles of Soweto. Smithsonian curator Diana N’Diaye will moderate a panel discussion following the screening, featuring Mimi Plange, designer of the eponymous Mimi Plange fashion house, as seen on First Lady Michelle Obama; Brenda Winstead, self-trained designer and owner of Damali Afrikanwear; and Msia Kibona Clark, Howard University African Studies professor and author, whose scholarship focuses on politics, popular culture and gender studies in Africa. Co-sponsored by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Admission is free, but registration is required at www.etix.com.
 
Let’s Talk! Teaching Race in the Classroom
Monday, July 9–Friday, July 13; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Target Learning Center Classrooms, second floor
This free five-day seminar on race and racism was created by the museum’s Education Office for teachers of elementary, middle and high school. Registration is full for this program.
 
Historical Memory: Myths and Monuments of the Civil War
Monday, July 23–Friday, July 27; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
National Museum of African American History and Culture, Target Learning Center Classrooms, second floor
In collaboration with the African American Civil War Museum, the museum will host a five-day seminar for teachers looking for more effective ways to teach the history of “The War Between the States.” Created for middle and high school educators, participants should plan to attend the entire program and must submit a statement of purpose to register. For more information, visit www.nmaahc.si.edu.
 
Clement A. Price Lectures – The Poor People’s Campaign: The Other America
Saturday, July 21; 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Oprah Winfrey Theater and the museum’s gallery at the National Museum of American History.
The final in a series of the Clement A. Price Lectures, this symposium commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign. It will explore the economic conditions and civil unrest that inspired Martin Luther King Jr. to create his last and most ambitious campaign to confront economic inequality.
 
The symposium will begin with a tour of the “City of Hope” exhibition by curator Aaron Bryant in the museum’s gallery in the National Museum of American History. The program continues inside the Oprah Winfrey Theater at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Panelists include Bernard Lafayette Jr., co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; Komozi Wooddard, professor of history, Sarah Lawrence University; Herb Boyd, author of Black Detroit; Peter Edelman, Georgetown University law professor; Junius Williams, attorney and author; Ryan P. Haygood, president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice; and Marc Steiner, Baltimore radio host. The symposium ends with a reception.
 
Free tickets to the symposium are available beginning Thursday, July 5, at 10:30 a.m. at www.etix.com.
 
About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened Sept. 24 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument, 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 or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.
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Media Contact(s): 

Jermaine House  (202) 633-9495; housej@si.edu 
Lindsey Koren     (202) 633-4052; korenl@si.edu 

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The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all.