February is African American History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
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Read about the Library of Congress's partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture to bring a newly-found treasure of African-American history to light. Plus: finding exploring family histories, celebrating Frederick Douglass' birthday, hearing the voices of slavery online, and more.
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Image credit: Library of Congress Magazine, January/February 2018.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
Explore the Museum »
Image credit: Photograph by Alan Karchmer for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
In order to understand our nation's history, it is vital to understand how this has shaped the African American experience. Find these stories—from escaped slaves and abolitionists, to soldiers, intellectuals, and business entrepreneurs—preserved in our national parks and historic places.
View the online Collection »
Image Credit: [District of Columbia. Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry, at Fort Lincoln] (National Park Service)
African Americans serving in the military service throughout U.S. history have often fought on two fronts: fighting the actual enemy and fighting a system of segregation and exclusion.
Veterans History Project (Library of Congress)
The Tuskegee Airmen (National Park Service)
Image credit: Terona Chivers 1st Squad 3rd Platoon Grenadiers. (Library of Congress)
Put the power of primary sources to work in the classroom. Browse ready-to-use lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids.
Educational Resources »
Image credit: "Frederick Douglass appealing to President Lincoln and his cabinet to enlist Negroes," mural by William Edouard Scott, at the Recorder of Deeds building, built in 1943. 515 D St., NW, Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)
2018 Event Highlights
Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America
Thomas Jefferson fathered three daughters, two white and one black. In her book Jefferson's Daughters, history professor Catherine Kerrison discusses the fascinating lives of these three very different women.
Livestreaming on YouTube
Special Document Display
February 17 - 19
Brown Bag Lecture
Brown Bag Lecture at the Wilson Center: History of Place
This presentation is about an African American settlement originated in Washington, D.C., right after the Civil War in 1867. Approximately 40,000 African American refugees came into Washington, D.C., during the Civil War era.
1619 and the Making of America
1619 was a pivotal year in the establishment of the first permanent English Colony in North America. It was the year of the first representative legislative assembly in the New World as well as the arrival of the first recorded Africans to English North America.
(John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress)
City of Hope: Resurrection City & the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign
The museum commemorates the fiftieth anniversary Martin Luther King Jr.'s death with a special exhibition devoted to his final and most ambitious dream, the Poor People's Campaign. The exhibition is presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
(National Museum of American History)