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National Museum Of African American History And Culture Hours

American Revolution And Early United States

LIVE from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

The latter half of the 18th century was a time of significant political upheaval on the North American continent. In the midst of cries for independence from rule, many pointed out the hypocrisy inherent in colonial slaveholders’ demands for freedom. The , a document which would become a for human rights and personal freedom around the world, was written by , a man who owned over 200 enslaved people. Other Southern statesmen were also major slaveholders. The considered freeing enslaved people to assist with the war effort, but they also removed language from the Declaration of Independence that included the promotion of slavery amongst the offenses of . A number of free Black people, most notably âfounder of âsubmitted which called for abolition, but these were largely ignored.

This did not deter Black people, free and enslaved, from participating in the Revolution. , a free Black tradesman, was the first casualty of the and of the ensuing . 5,000 Black people, including Prince Hall, fought in the . Many fought side by side with soldiers at the and at . However, upon ‘s ascension to commander of the Continental Army in 1775, the additional recruitment of Black people was forbidden.

Tickets & Hours For The Naamhc

Free tickets are available online for a timed-entry reservation. Go to the museums website here to reserve as soon as possible. You can also call 1-800-514-3849 to reserve. Everyone needs a ticket regardless of age. Tickets are released up to 30 days in advance and there are some same-day timed entry tickets released at 8:15 AM each day.

Currently the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 4 PM. It may open other days soon so check their website for up to date info.

African Americans Fighting For A Double Victory

Now through 2024Explore the many ways that African Americans served our country in the military and on the home front during World War II, through this exhibit of World War II materials from National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center collections. Discover the art of Charles Alston, commissioned by the Office of War Information to promote the war effort among African Americans, explore stories of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Red Ball Express, the Triple Nickels and Wilberforce-area veterans, and get a look at the impact World War II veterans had on the advances in civil rights that followed the war.

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Where To Start Your Visit To The National Museum Of African American History And Culture

Photo: BrianPIrwin/Shutterstock

It may sound silly, but the best place to start your tour is outside. Adjacent to the Washington Monument, the 400,000-square-foot bronze-hued building that houses the museum is as much a part of the experience as any exhibit. Even its position on the National Mall is emblematic given that The Mall is a platform for Americas democratic values of liberty, equality, and justice.

Award-winning architect David Adjaye designed the three-tiered museum in the image of a Yoruban Caryatid, a type of traditional wooden statue from West Africa thats shaped like a column and topped with a crown. The patterns on the aluminum panels portray the 19th-century ironwork of enslaved craftsmen in New Orleans. They allow daylight to shine through and, at night, light up the crown from within. The perimeter of the grand porch on the south entrance by the National Mall is also significant, having been symbolically bedded with live oaks. For enslaved peoples, live oaks represented safety, strength, and resilience as they provided shade and shelter and served as gathering spots for meetings and religious services.

Photo: National Museum of African American History and Culture/AlanKarchmer

Construction Of The Museum Building

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture ...

The museum’s groundbreaking ceremony took place on February 22, 2012. President Barack Obama and museum director Bunch were among the speakers at the ceremony. Actress Phylicia Rashd was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, which also featured poetry and music performed by Denyce Graves, Thomas Hampson, and the Heritage Signature Chorale.

Clark Construction Group, Smoot Construction, and H.J. Russell & Company won the contract to build the museum. The architectural firm of McKissack & McKissack provided project management services on behalf of the Smithsonian, and acted as liaison between the Smithsonian and public utilities and D.C. government agencies. Guy Nordenson and Associates and Robert Silman Associates were the structural engineers for the project.

The NAAMHC became the deepest museum on the National Mall. Excavators dug 80 ft below grade to lay the foundations, although the building itself will be only 70 ft deep. The museum is located at a low point on the Mall, and groundwater puts 27.78 psi on the walls. To compensate, 85 US gal per minute of water were pumped out every day during construction of the foundation and below-grade walls, and a slurry of cement and sand injected into forms to stabilize the site. Lasers continually monitored the walls during construction for any signs of bulging or movement.

The 350,000 sq ft building has a total of 10 stories .

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National Museum Of African American History And Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Exterior of the museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a Smithsonian Institution museum located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in the United States. It was established in December 2003 and opened its permanent home in September 2016 with a ceremony led by President Barack Obama.

Early efforts to establish a federally owned museum featuring African-American history and culture can be traced to 1915, although the modern push for such an organization did not begin until the 1970s. After years of little success, a much more serious legislative push began in 1988 that led to authorization of the museum in 2003. A site was selected in 2006, and a design submitted by Freelon Group/Adjaye Associates/Davis Brody Bond was chosen in 2009. Construction began in 2012 and the museum completed in 2016.

The NMAAHC is the world’s largest museum dedicated to African-American history and culture. It ranked as the fourth most-visited Smithsonian museum in its first full year of operation. The museum has more than 40,000 objects in its collection, although only about 3,500 items are on display. The 350,000-square-foot , 10 story building and its exhibits have won critical praise.

How To Get Tickets Now

The new visitation policy change takes effect starting in January 2019. For the rest of December 2018, visitors can enter the museum without passes on weekdays after 1 p.m. There are no advance timed-entry passes available for December, but same-day passes can be obtained online, every morning beginning at 6:30. To handle holiday crowds, the museum is extending its hours of operation December 26 through December 29, remaining open until 7:30 p.m. And don’t forget, NMAAHC, like all the other Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo, will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25.

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National African American Museum Tips With Kids

Who can visit the National African American Museum of History and Culture? Everyone! Ive visited twice with my kids and encourage everyone who can to visit in Washington, D.C. Below are my top National African American Museum tips with kids including tickets, hours, must-see exhibits, notes on some of the sensitive exhibits and parking.

The Gallery You Shouldnt Skip At The National Museum Of African American History And Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in Washington, D.C.

Photo: National Museum of African American History and Culture/AlanKarchmer

The history galleries may occupy the majority of its physical space, but after diving into the past, youd be remiss to skip the L galleries, which focus on African American community and culture .

In comparison to the history galleries, the L galleries are bright, airy, and spacious. From the heritage hall, take the escalators to community galleries. In the Making a Way Out of No Way exhibits, youll see how African Americans have resisted and persisted, thanks to mutual support and through education, religion, entrepreneurship, and activism. Personal success stories are spotlighted here in spite of obstacles and lack of opportunity. Stories include those of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, who founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935, and photojournalist Charles Harris, whose work now sits in the Carnegie Museum of Art. One room is dedicated to boxer and activist Muhammad Ali whose stand for his personal, political, and religious convictions changed American history, as the display reads.

Photo: National Museum of African American History and Culture/AlanKarchmer

Photo: National Museum of African American History and Culture/AlanKarchmer

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Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History And Culture

  • Metro: Smithsonian
  • Hours: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Days Open: 7 days a week, except on December 25

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. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

The striking 400,000 square-foot museum is designed to tell the complex story of perseverance and achievement of African Americans: from the intricate three-tiered bronze-colored cast-aluminum panels on the outside, to the exhibit spaces – 70 percent of which are below ground.

The museums 12 inaugural exhibitions focus on broad themes of history, culture and community. These exhibitions have been conceived to help transform visitors understanding of American history and culture and to help visitors adapt to and participate in changing definitions of American citizenship, liberty and equality.

Sweet Home Café, housed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, showcases the rich culture and history of the African American people with traditional, authentic offerings as well as present-day food traditions. The museum is also available for private events and multiple event venues and a theater.

Images are courtesy of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Wildly Popular Smithsonian Museum Is About To Become Easier To Visit

Have you been waiting to visit the National Museum of African-American History and Culture as you watch the elusive timed-entry passes sell out online? Getting into the popular museum just became easier.

This month, the museum will start allowing visitors without passes on weekdays as part of its off-peak season. The museums new guidelines created the peak and off-peak times for 2019, expanding the hours visitors can walk in without the highly-coveted timed-entry passes.

Visitors can now walk in at any time during the museums hours on Mondays through Fridays from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. Entry didnt begin until 1 PM in previous years and during the peak season in the summer.

A representative for the museum says that the museum hasnt seen any increases in walk-in visitors this month yet, in comparison to past years. The representative credits the typical fall in visitation to the start of the off-peak season.

For those working during the week, weekend visitors still need to obtain a timed-entry pass on the museums website ahead of time. The off-peak season will end in February, and visitors will need either a timed-entry pass or a same-day pass starting in March.

The museum advertised the off-peak times in the last copy of the Washington Posts Express paper, which folded Thursday.

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National Museum Of African American History And Culture To Reopen Friday Sep 18 With Enhanced Safety Measures

The Smithsonians National Museum of African American History and Culture will reopen to the public on Friday, Sep. 18. In light of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum will reopen with new standards that allow visitors to experience the museum in a more intimate setting. The guidelines include new hours of operation and enhanced safety measures that protect visitors and staff. The museum will continue to require visitors to obtain free, timed-entry passes to enter.

We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the museum, said Spencer Crew, interim director of the Smithsonians Museum of African American History and Culture. We are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff, visitors and volunteers. As we continue to adjust our operations, we want to make sure we offer the best experience possible to everyone who enters our museum.

The museum has implemented enhanced safety measures based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Government of the District of Columbia sources to include:

As a precautionary measure, all on-site docent-led public tours and events are suspended until further notice. Some exhibitions, videos and interactives may be closed or operate at limited capacity. To plan your trip to the museum, visit Updates on access rules and the operating status of other Smithsonian museums can be found at

Check Out The Online Portal

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The museum opened a free-to-use web portal that helps people explore issues of race, racism and racial identity called Talking About Race in 2020. It examines how forces surrounding racial identity shape every aspect of society in the US, from the economy and politics to the broader culture. It has videos, online exercises, scholarly articles and over 100 multi-media resources tailored for educators, parents and caregivers and individuals committed to racial equality. The portal is free and does not require a registration or sign-up to use.

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The Definitive Story Of How The National Museum Of African American History And Culture Came To Be

From courting Chuck Berry in Missouri to diving for a lost slave ship off Africa, the directors tale is a fascinating one

In July 2005, I began this great adventure by driving from Chicago to Washington, D.C. to take a new job. The trip gave me plenty of time to ponder whether Id made the right decision. After all, I loved Chicago, my home in Oak Park and my job as president of the Chicago Historical Society. But it was too late to turn back. I had agreed to become the founding director of the Smithsonians National Museum of African American History and Culturean opportunity, and an obligation to my community, that far outweighed my reservations.

On my first day on the job, I was told wed have temporary offices somewhere off the National Mall. And when I say we, I mean me and the only other person on the staff, Tasha Coleman. Tasha and I searched for our offices and found them locked, so we went down to the buildings front desk and asked for a key. They said, we dont know who you are were not just going to give you a key.

I then went to the buildings security office and informed them that I was the new museum director and I wanted access to my offices. The officer said no, because we have no record of you.

At that moment, I realized that no one was really prepared for this endeavor, not the Smithsonian, not the American public and maybe not even me.

First, though, I want to tell you a little about how we got to this point.




Dress Designed By Tracy Reese And Worn By Michelle Obama

Here the tour of the history galleries ends with the election of Americas first Black president. In the foreground of the many magazine covers and other memorabilia from the political campaign is the signature sleeveless black dress with red poppies that the First Lady wore in 2013 on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

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A Guide To Visiting Nmaahc

The NMAAHC is a very popular museum and you can expect lines to enter, especially right when the museum opens at 10am and for walk-up entry on weekends at 1pm. Even if you have obtained a timed entry pass, you might encounter lines at the security entrance during peak season.

Once you clear security, the museum itself is self-guided. All guests enter the museum in Heritage Hall We suggest taking the escalators downstairs to the lower level, known as the Concourse. This is where you can access the three floors of history galleries and it is the only way to enter that portion of the museum.

You can expect there might be a line at this point, especially during peak season. The history gallery experience begins in an elevator that takes you to the lowest level of the museum. The first exhibit highlights the Atlantic Slave Trade and it works its way chronologically up to 2008 and the election of the first African-American President.

The history galleries empty you right next to the Contemplative Court, a perfect spot to reflect and relax before heading upstairs. On the upper levels , you will find exhibitions highlighting the cultural contributions of African-Americans, community galleries, and more. You can find a detailed breakdown of the museum here:

Tickets And Other Practicalities

National Museum of African American History and Culture marks 1st anniversary

The museum opens daily from 10am to 5.30pm and admission is free. All visitors, regardless of age, need a timed entry pass, which can be reserved online here or by phone at 1-800-514-3849.

Timed-entry passes are released up to 30 days in advance on a rolling basis. A limited number of same-day timed-entry passes are released online throughout each day, beginning at 8.15am EST. An individual can reserve up to six passes for their visit.

Print your timed-entry passes at home or present them on a mobile device for entry. You can enter the museum after your scheduled time and are permitted to stay until closing.

The entrance to the museum is at 15th Street and Madison Drive NW. The easiest way to visit is by using public transportation, and the closest Metro stations are Federal Triangle and Smithsonian . There are no Smithsonian Institution public parking facilities on the National Mall, and the nearest public parking garage is located at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

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