The Center for the Digitization and Curation of African American History will be in St. Louis for our 2024 Community Curation Program!

During the month of September we will be working with great community partners in St. Louis and East St. Louis, developing engaging programming, and digitizing materials for local institutions, organizations, and community members.

January Site Visit

The Smith Center has been meeting virtually with St. Louis community partners and in January we traveled to the city to start planning for our month-long program this fall.

A group of people standing together

Meeting with collaborators representing Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis Preservation Crew, Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, Descendants of St. Louis University Enslaved Inc., and Ozark Vitality

People sitting around a table watching a projected presentation on a screen

Discussing the preservation of St. Louis historic sites, such as Washington Park Cemetery

A person showing archival materials

Almetta Jordan, Park Superintendent at Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, showing our team sheet music, piano rolls, and other materials in their collection

March Site Visit

In March we returned to St. Louis to meet more collaborators. We started by engaging in a community conversation at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Dr. Howard Rambsy gave us a tour of the Eugene B. Redmond Collection and Learning Center, which included photos, personal artifacts, and the complete Third World Press catalog of books sent to SIUE by Haki Madhubuti. 

A poster of Eugene B. Redmond photography

A poster of Eugene B. Redmond photography on display at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

A photo of NMAAHC Director Kevin Young, taken by Eugene B. Redmond

A photo of NMAAHC Director Kevin Young, taken by Eugene B. Redmond

A typewriter that belonged to Eugene B. Redmond

The typewriter Eugene B. Redmond used to write Drumvoices: The Mission of Afro American Poetry

We were able to continue our Conversations on the Road series by interviewing Eugene B. Redmond. Later, we traveled to Uhuru House on Florissant Avenue to interview Chairman Omali Yeshitela and Deputy Chair Ona Zene Yeshitela.

Eugene B. Redmond and Sterling Warren

Eugene B. Redmond and Sterling Warren (Smith Center Digital Content Producer)

Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Deputy Chair Ona Zene Yeshitela, and Sterling Warren

Deputy Chair Ona Zene Yeshitela, Chairman Omali Yeshitela, and Sterling Warren

Later we visited Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School, connect with the St. Louis Preservation Crew, and get a tour of Historic East St. Louis with Dr. Treasure Shields Redmond. We finished our site visit by learning from and planning with the Historical Society of Brooklyn, Illinois, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, East Saint Louis Arts & Culture Coalition and the St. Louis Chapter of The Links.

Events

*Locations, times, and ticketing information for events will be announced at a later date

Photo of a projected Powerpoint presentation

Freedmen's Bureau Search Portal - Missouri Resources

This workshop will introduces participants to the Freedmen’s Bureau Search Portal created by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). This comprehensive search platform is designed to help family historians and genealogists search for their ancestors, and to assist scholars and students in researching various topics found in over 1.7 million pages of Freedmen’s Bureau records.

gOD-Talk Documentary Screening

This thought-provoking film explores the intersection of religion and culture in African American history, providing a deeper understanding of the role of faith in shaping the African American experience and its impact on our world today. The panel discussion below took place after a recent screening in NMAAHC's Oprah Winfrey Theater and features Teddy Reeves (Producer/NMAAHC Museum Curator of Religion), Kim Moir (Executive Producer/Director) and principals from the film.

We use the video player Able Player to provide captions and audio descriptions. Able Player performs best using web browsers Google Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. If you are using Safari as your browser, use the play button to continue the video after each audio description. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Lisa Crawley at a podium

Genealogy Workshop

This workshop will help genealogy researchers learn more about discovering Black family history. Specialists from our Family History Center and workshop attendees will review a variety of research methods, record types, and case studies in order to enhance basic genealogy research skills.

Historically Speaking

Historically Speaking is a recurring program series that responds to significant events affecting the African American community. Programs feature experts from diverse fields and are often moderated by esteemed journalists and cultural critics. The program also highlights authors who have written new and meaningful contemporary and historical fiction and nonfiction works. The video below features author Rachel Swarns discussing her book The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church

We use the video player Able Player to provide captions and audio descriptions. Able Player performs best using web browsers Google Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. If you are using Safari as your browser, use the play button to continue the video after each audio description. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Four people seated on a stage

A Seat at the Table

A Seat at the Table is a signature social justice program hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) where participants consider challenging questions about race, identity, and economic justice over a shared meal. An expert panel will discuss a specific topic of concern, providing food for thought while the audience enjoys a menu inspired by the location and themes raised in the discussion. After the conversation, diners turn to each other to engage in an interactive activity designed to continue reflection on the evening's topic. Through this program, participants can make new connections, exchange resources, and develop new perspectives. Most importantly, participants conclude the evening prepared to apply insights gained from having "a seat at the table" to their own lives.

Hometown Treasures - St. Louis

The Hometown Treasures program will help St. Louis-area residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance tucked away in the attics, closets, and basements of their homes. The event will feature professional reviews of family heirlooms, presentations, hands-on activities, and preservation tips. The video below details how to store and protect your family’s cherished papers, photos, and books from damage and loss.

We use the video player Able Player to provide captions and audio descriptions. Able Player performs best using web browsers Google Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. If you are using Safari as your browser, use the play button to continue the video after each audio description. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Share Your Story

The Community Curation Platform provides a unique opportunity for individuals, families, and community groups to share their stories as part of the Museum's online community collection. Begin sharing your stories today by creating an online account with the Museum and uploading your digitized photos and videos. Visit our Submission Guidelines to learn tips on digitizing and what makes for a great community story.

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