Displaying 1 - 10 of 55 stories
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.
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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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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.
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Collection Story

Strands of Inspiration: Exploring Black Identities through Hair

Many artists and designers in the NMAAHC collection explore the role that hair plays within their own Black identities. These artists highlight Black hair’s ability to form meaning due to its malleable nature that gives way to creative symbolism. The cultural significance of Black hair manifests through the themes demonstrated in art works that consider race through the lenses of gender, space, and time.
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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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Collection Story

Gail Anderson: A Leader in Black Graphic Design

Graphic design enhances how we communicate with one another, provides space for individuality and expression, and simply gives our brains a break from looking at plain text all day. Gail Anderson is a New York based designer, writer, educator, co-author, partner at Anderson Newton Design, and one of the most influential Black designers in the game.
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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.
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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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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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