Making African America:

Immigration and the Changing Dynamics of Blackness

In light of concerns about novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the University of Maryland and the National Museum of African American History and Culture will postpone the April 16-18 Making African America symposium to 2021.

We will be in touch in the coming weeks with more details about next year’s symposium. We hope that you will join us and apologize for any inconvenience.

The Making African America symposium brings together scholars, journalists, activists, curators, filmmakers, and writers to discuss how immigration has shaped and is continuing to reshape what it means to be black in the United States.

African-American history might best be viewed as a series of great migrations, during which immigrants—at first forced and then free—transformed an alien place into a home, becoming deeply rooted in a land that once was foreign, even despised. After each migration, the newcomers created new understandings of the African-American experience and new definitions of blackness.

Ira Berlin

From the Collection

Dashiki owned by Margaret Louise Lynch Belcher

Dashiki owned by Margaret Louise Lynch Belcher.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Kimberly Hunley
Costume dress and belt for Dorothy in The Wiz on Broadway

Costume dress and belt for Dorothy in The Wiz on Broadway

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane
Rabbi and Founder Wentworth Arthur Matthew with Torah Scroll

Rabbi and Founder Wentworth Arthur Matthew with Torah Scroll

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, © Alexander Alland, Jr.
Dr. Huey P. Newton Free Huey!

Free Huey!

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Poster for African Liberation Day 1977

Poster for African Liberation Day 1977

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Catherine M. Bailey
Wives of Sango

Wives of Sango

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Courtesy of Jameela K. Donaldson, © Jeff Donaldson
Costume for Black Panther worn by Chadwick Boseman 2016

Costume for Black Panther worn by Chadwick Boseman 2016

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company, © Marvel

This symposium is generously supported by The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.