The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture stayed in an embryonic stage for more than a hundred years, until it finally opened its doors in September 2016. Partly built with bronze, the structure, inspired by three-level crowns commonly found in West Africa, now stands next to the Washington Monument obelisk. Inside the building, near 40,000 items testify to a part of American history that has been severely under-represented in museums, now divided into three big themes: slavery, segregation and culture.
Serious and light-hearted topics alternate, making it possible to discover a 1918 train car with seats reserved for “coloured people”, the first Black astronaut's space suit, Harriet Tubman's silk lace and linen shawl (a former slave, she is famous for bringing other captives to safety), Afro-American theatre costumes as well as Mohamed Ali's gloves, helmet and robe.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
1400 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20560
+1 844 750 3012