• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • 10:00am - 5:30pm
Location
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Type
CelebrationsKids & Families

In coordination with the DC Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs, Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is hosting a District Day to celebrate DC Emancipation Day, which freed 3,000 enslaved individuals in the nation's capital.

In the spirit of celebration, residents across the region (D.C., Maryland and Virginia) are invited to the museum for a day filled with live performances, a trunk show, and a special District Day menu from the Sweet Home Café.

All District residents are granted free admittance into the event with a valid I.D.

Admission is free; however, registration is required.  

Register Now


 

The act entitled ‘an act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia,’ has this day been approved and signed. President Abraham Lincoln

With these life-altering words, written April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in the District of Columbia. Over 3,000 enslaved persons were freed eight months before the Emancipation Proclamation liberated slaves in the South. Passage of this law came 8 1/2 months before President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The act provided immediate emancipation of slaves, compensation to former owners who were loyal to the Union of up to $300 for each freed slave, voluntary colonization of former slaves to locations outside the United States, and payments of up to $100 for each person choosing emigration.

Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration of the Celebration of the abolition of slavery in Washington DC, 1866.

Celebration of the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia by the colored people in Washington DC, April 19th 1866

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

 

Should I not feel glad to see so much rejoicing around me? Were I a drinker I would get on a Jolly spree today, but as a Christian I can but kneel in prayer and bless God for the privilege I’ve enjoyed this day… Newly emancipated Black D.C. resident (unknown)

Chuck Brown, the "Godfather of Go-Go"

The name Chuck Brown might not mean much to people outside the Washington, D.C. area. That would be their loss. In D.C., Brown is revered as the "Godfather of Go-Go."
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Watch Chuck Brown, "The Godfather of Go-Go" perform with his band during an NPR Tiny Desk Concert in 2010.

National Public Radio
Chuck Brown's suit on display in the Musical Crossroads Gallery

Chuck Brown's Suit with matching hat and shoes, on display in the Musical Crossroads Gallery

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Jocelyn Brown

A Right to the City

The Anacostia Community Museum's "A Right to the City" online exhibition tells the story of how ordinary Washingtonians have helped shape and reshape six neighborhoods in extraordinary ways.
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

 

Sweet Home Café District Day Menu

Sweet Home Café District Day Menu 
Available from 11am - 3pm
Prepared by Sweet Home Café Executive Chef Ramin Coles, R/A

Entrees 
Chili Cheese Half Smoke 
Chicken Wings with Mumbo Sauce  
Steak & Cheese Eggroll  
 
Sides
Chilli Cheese Crinkle Fries
Crispy Eggplant (Vegan)
Steamed Rice
Vegetable Lo Mein
 
Dessert 
Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Beverage 
The Mix "Lemonade & Iced Tea" 

A rectangular, framed photographic souvenir poster of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Home in Anancostia, D.C. The poster features three black-and-white photographs against a tan background. In the center is a rectangular photograph of the exterior of the Frederick Douglass house.

Photographic souvenir of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Home in Anacostia, D.C.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

 

to hire good labouring negroes by the year, the masters clothing them well and finding each a blanket, the commissioners finding them provisions and paying twenty-one pounds a year. Legislation passed by the Commissioners of the Federal City (DC) introducing slavery April 13, 1792

 

District Day Trunk Show

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will host a Trunk Show featuring local vendors from the DMV courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. The Trunk Show will take place in Heritage Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors may purchase items directly from vendors. Additional products from local vendors may also be purchased in the Museum Store. Participating vendors are outlined below.



 

While visiting the museum, make sure to view the following objects related to the District of Columbia.

View the Collection

Block of sandstone from the East Front of U.S. Capitol

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
View Object about Block of sandstone from the East Front of U.S. Capitol

Robe worn at Georgetown University convocation

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Mélisande Short-Colomb
View Object about Robe worn at Georgetown University convocation

Keepsake pocket bank for the National Negro Memorial

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift from the Ball-Hoagland family in honor of Robert Ball
View Object about Keepsake pocket bank for the National Negro Memorial
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