Join us Friday, April 24th beginning at 10am as we celebrate National Poetry Month with a Virtual Poetry Slam!  

Poets, aspiring poets, families, and artists of all ages are encouraged to participate. The Museum will accept videos of original poetry performances and still images of poetry-inspired creations on three different themes: Resiliency and Hope, Community, and Jazz music. 

 To participate: 

  1. Follow @NMAAHC on social media.  
  2. Record video of yourself performing a poetry piece or take a photo of your poetic creation based on one of the four designated themes. 
  3. Close your submission by sharing in a tweet or Instagram post with the #NMAAHCPoetrySlam and encourage others to participate. Don’t forget to tag us! @NMAAHC  

Social Media Toolkit and Activity Guide

Resources to Inspire Your Creativity



Langston Hughes: The People's Poet ​
Langston Hughes was resolute in listening to the stories of the working class, telling those stories in a language they understood, and, in so doing, reflecting back on Harlem the beauty and boundlessness he saw every day. 

Spreading the Word 
In the 1940s, Baldwin demonstrated skill and insight at writing reviews for leading publications, which helped to launch his literary career. 

Lessons on Life and Literature 
Living abroad helped to shape Baldwin’s personal identity and spawn his literary output. 

A Choreopoem on Broadway 
Poet and playwright Ntozake Shange debuted her groundbreaking work, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf in 1974 using an innovative form she defined as a choreopoem. 

A New African American Identity: The Harlem Renaissance 
The Great Migration drew to Harlem some of the greatest minds and brightest talents of the day, an astonishing array of African American artists and scholars. Between the end of World War I and the mid-1930s, they produced one of the most significant eras of cultural expression in the nation’s history—the Harlem Renaissance. Yet this cultural explosion also occurred in Cleveland, Los Angeles and many cities shaped by the great migration. Alain Locke, a Harvard-educated writer, critic, and teacher who became known as the “dean” of the Harlem Renaissance, described it as a “spiritual coming of age” in which African Americans transformed “social disillusionment to race pride.” 

Image of Charlie Parker Saxophone

Image of Charlie Parker Saxophone

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture


The Fire Next Time 
James Baldwin: The Fire Next Time, A Conversation with Steve Schapiro 

Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood 
Discussion with Karen Garret, LeVar Burton, Allyson Criner Brown, Judith Thurman, and Aisha Karefa-Smart 

Ingenuity Award - Janelle Monae 
Smithsonian Ingenuity Award to Janelle Monae in a discussion with Christian McBride 

Furious Flower Panel and Presentation  
Panel Discussion: Critical Perspectives Innovating the Archive Presentation 

Furious Flower Innovating The Archive (Continued) 

Furious Flower Interactive Workshop 

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