Image of Make Good the Promises Entrance
Current Special

Make Good the Promises

Make Good the Promises: Reconstruction and Its Legacies focuses on the story of Reconstruction—the period following the Civil War—through an African American lens.
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Millie and Christine, Newspaper caption reads "Millie Christine, The Two Headed lady
Current Special

Millie Christine

Millie Christine: The Life and Legal Battles of the Carolina Twins explores the lives of enslaved conjoined twins who were considered physical oddities and exhibited as circus and side show attractions throughout the United States and Europe beginning in the pre-Civil War era. The exhibit examines the complexities of freedom, profit and family connection for the McCoy twins through the Freedmen’s Bureau and its records.
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Pauli Murray as a toddler with her family two years before the tragic death of her mother, Agnes Fitzgerald Murray.
Current Special

Pauli Murray's Proud Shoes

Pauli Murray’s Proud Shoes: A Classic in African American Genealogy explores the family history of Pauli Murray, a pioneering lawyer, priest and writer. Her book, Proud Shoes: An African American Family, showcases the racial and social dynamics between the union of a free black family from the north and a mixed-race family of the south.
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Entrance to the Visual Arts Gallery
Current Special


Visual art has long provided its own protest, commentary, escape and perspective for African Americans. The Black painters, sculptors, photographers and textile artists featured exemplify the tradition of exhibiting resilience in times of conflict, as well as the ritual of creation, and the defiant pleasure of healing.
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Current Special


In honor of the publication of The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap and African American Music Appreciation Month in June, the museum decided to remix and re-release the show Represent: Hip-Hop Photography. Don’t miss your second chance to discover distinct visual pairings that will change the way you think about the roots of the art form.
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