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You Should Know

You Should Know: Black Fashion Icons

African Americans have participated in the fashion industry in various roles, including as designers, dressmakers, seamstresses and influencers.

They have found ways to build spaces for their creative expressions, even when they have faced intensively challenging circumstances such as prejudices and discrimination based on race, gender and classism.
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Collection Story

African Americans at Work: A Photo Essay

From enslaved workers in the 19th century to agricultural, industrial, and professional workers in the 20th and 21st centuries, African Americans have always been a vital part of the American workforce. This photo essay documents African Americans at work from the 1860s to today.
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Notes on the March on Washington

On August 28, 1963, a quarter of a million people rallied on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Traveling from cities, towns, and villages around the country by bus, car, plane, train, and on foot, they convened to find strength in a shared history, future, and purpose.
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Collection Story

LaToya Ruby Frazier: An Artist Forged in a Steel Mill Town

LaToya Ruby Frazier is an artist born of her environment. Raised in the collapsed steel mill town of Braddock, Pennsylvania, Frazier’s empathy, humanism, commitment to social and environmental justice, and artistic sensibilities were forged by what she witnessed around her from a young age. Throughout her career she has integrated herself into communities to collaboratively document people’s everyday lives during defining moments in American history, altering the narrative and the country.
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Collection Story

Capturing Community and Creating Coalitions: Frank Espada in the 1960s

Beginning in the early 1960s, photographer Frank Espada (1930–2014) attended rallies and boycotts, snapping images of New York youth and the battles fought by them and their families.
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Our American Story

Our American Story - Juneteenth

This year marks the second anniversary since President Joe Biden named Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021. As more Americans celebrate Juneteenth with family and community, it is vital to share the important historical legacy behind Juneteenth and recognize the long struggle to make it an officially recognized holiday. It is an opportunity to honor our country’s second Independence Day and reflect on our shared history and future.
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Collection Story

Ramadan

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar and is the official month of fasting for Muslims worldwide. For the duration of the month, Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset each day, perform meaningful rituals that illuminate their faith, exercise humility, and engage in self-reflection.
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Our American Story

From Slavery to Freedom

From inventing dry-cleaning to sugar refining to the first steamboat propeller, African Americans have been active contributors to the economic, political, and social legacies of the United States. Much of U.S. history, however, is contextualized by the system of slavery that was imposed on African Americans for 250 years—and how those born under that system and in its aftermath have crafted a culture deeply rooted in resilience and looking toward the future. The transition from slavery to freedom included many roadblocks as the country confronted the question of how resources could reach newly freed African Americans.
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Collection Story

Musical Life at HBCUs

The National Museum of African American History and Culture's collection features many objects connected to the musical legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The material culture of HBCU music is a powerful illustration of the roles these institutions have played in the lives of Black musicians for over 150 years.
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Collection Story

Color(ed) Theory

Color(ed) Theory is a series of photographs featuring houses painted entirely in a single color. Each house in the series is painted the same color as a namesake, Black targeted, consumer product. For some people, the color of the house is immediately connected to a product they are familiar with and know. For others, the symbolism behind the color of the home remains a mystery.
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