Century in the Making exhibition. Seven panels with artifacts and text about the NMAAHC.

A Century in the Making

The journey to open this museum took many attempts and numerous steps to realize. It involved the activism of private citizens and organizations, passage of federal legislation, construction of an inspiring new building, and collecting thousands of artifacts.
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The entrance to the A Changing America exhibition featuring "picket signs" describing the events of 1968.

A Changing America

While the modern Civil Rights Movement achieved many victories, it did not end the struggle for freedom. As African Americans have continued to pursue goals of equity and justice, the definition of African American identity has also continued to evolve.
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The entrance to the Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom exhibition with a large log cabin in the center.

Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom

With the end of slavery, African Americans had hoped to attain full citizenship. Instead they confronted a new form of oppression—segregation. Through their century-long struggle for civil rights, they challenged the nation to live up to its ideals of freedom and equality.
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The Paradox of Liberty section of Slavery and Freedom featuring bronze statues of famous figures at the founding of America.

Slavery and Freedom

Five hundred years ago, the emergence of the Transatlantic Slave Trade transformed Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The United States was created in this context, forged by slavery as well as a radical new concept, freedom.
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