Displaying 1 - 10 of 33 stories

The Freedmen’s Bureau: New Beginnings for Recently Freed African Americans

The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Confederate Army to the Union Army. The country was in complete chaos. How could a country that was so strongly divided mend itself into one cohesive unit? What would happen to over 3.5 million enslaved persons who have now been freed?
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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

Mary McLeod Bethune: “First Lady of Negro America”

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune sought to uplift and to buttress the lives of Black Americans through education, organizations, politics, and strong leadership. Her endeavors were recognized by those she served, members of the press, presidents of the United States, a first lady of the United States, and countless others impacted by her works.
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Emancipation and Educating the Newly Freed

For the nearly four million newly freed, education was a crucial first step to becoming self-sufficient. Between 1861 and 1900, more than 90 institutions of higher education were founded for African Americans.
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Collection Story

Duty, Honor, Country: Breaking Racial Barriers at West Point and Beyond

In its first 133 years of existence (1802–1935), over 10,000 white cadets graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. In stark contrast, only three African American cadets could claim this achievement: Henry Ossian Flipper (1877), John Hanks Alexander (1887), and Charles Young (1889).
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Who Celebrates Juneteenth?

Learn more about the people who celebrate the holiday and the cultural significance they place on commemorating this moment in history.
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Why is Juneteenth Important?

Museum scholars explore the origins of Juneteenth, the meaning of freedom and African American cultural traditions.
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What is Juneteenth?

In this curatorial discussion, museum experts examine the historical significance of the holiday and how it came to be.
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The Power of Poetry

#NationalPoetryMonth: 3 Poems You Should Read

Happy National Poetry Month! We’re kicking off our favorite time of the year with a challenge to anyone who loves the sound of flowing words and rhythmic beats.
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Our American Story

HBCUs Foster Scholarship, Culture and Community

HBCU campuses have always been places that foster the development and achievement of African Americans. The historic election of U.S. Vice President–elect Kamala Harris also has generated significant attention.
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