Displaying 1 - 10 of 72 stories
Our American Story

HBCUs: a legacy of shaping African American athletes

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have always been incubators for talent. In the post–Civil War Reconstruction years (1863–1877), dozens of HBCUs were founded to meet the educational needs of free and newly freed African Americans. Whereas most institutions barred or limited African American enrollment, HBCUs arose to provide higher education and vocational training.
Read story about HBCUs: a legacy of shaping African American athletes
Collection Story

Breaking Barriers in the Sky: The First African American Flight Attendants

Black flight attendants of the mid-20th century made invaluable contributions to the pursuit of civil rights through actively challenging and subverting the narrow standards of what it meant to represent their profession during this era. Courtesy of retired Delta Air Lines stewardess Casey Grant, a collection of materials donated to the Museum including uniforms, pins, awards and certificates, photographs, and documents shed light on the African American flight attendants who persevered in the face of race and gender-based discrimination, paving the way for Black aviation professionals decades thereafter.
Read story about Breaking Barriers in the Sky: The First African American Flight Attendants
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.
Read story about You Should Know: Black Fashion Icons
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.
Read story about African Americans at Work: A Photo Essay

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.
Read story about Notes on the March on Washington
Collection Story

Babies, Beauty, and Bravery: Black Excellence on the Covers of The Crisis

The editors of The Crisis used images of darling children, beautiful women, and strapping soldiers on their issue covers as symbols of Black excellence in order to discredit the idea that Black people were naturally inferior as a race. These covers reflect the many ways that African Americans maintained racial pride in the face of oppression.
Read story about Babies, Beauty, and Bravery: Black Excellence on the Covers of The Crisis
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.
Read story about Capturing Community and Creating Coalitions: Frank Espada in the 1960s
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.
Read story about Our American Story - Juneteenth
Collection Story

Victory at Home and Abroad: African American Army Nurses in World War II

Two women who served in the Army Nurse Corps—Lt. Louise Lomax and Maj. Della Raney—are represented in the museum’s collection via scrapbooks they compiled during the war.
Read story about Victory at Home and Abroad: African American Army Nurses in World War II
Freedman's Bureau

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?
Read story about The Freedmen’s Bureau: New Beginnings for Recently Freed African Americans
Share this page