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NMAAHC Building

Welcome to the Searchable Museum

A place to explorehistory and culturethrough anAfrican American lens

Slavery & Freedom 1400–1877

Exhibition

An in-depth journey through the history of slavery and freedom, based on the Museum’s permanent exhibition

Ambrotype of an African American Woman with a Flag, 1865

The Constellation

Explore

Artifacts and topics illuminating connections to history

Image of the Constellation interactive

Present to Past

Connect

Current events and issues from a historical perspective

Law

African Americans continue the fight for social justice and equal treatment under the law.

People waiting in line to vote

Health

Structural racism and racist beliefs about African Americans shape access to care and health outcomes.

Black women in masks at a protest

Law

African Americans continue the fight for social justice and equal treatment under the law.

People waiting in line to vote

Health

Structural racism and racist beliefs about African Americans shape access to care and health outcomes.

Black women in masks at a protest

Lesser-Known Stories

Discover

Shining a new light on the African American past and its people.

The First African American Physician

James McCune Smith, the first African American to hold a medical degree, fought against the false scientific claims of Black inferiority.

Black and white illustration of James McCune Smith

Enslaved at the White House

Paul Jennings, enslaved by James and Dolly Madison, bought his freedom and published a personal memoir in 1865.

Portrait of Paul Jennings

Enslaved at the White House

Paul Jennings, enslaved by James and Dolly Madison, bought his freedom and published a personal memoir in 1865.

Portrait of Paul Jennings

The First African American Physician

James McCune Smith, the first African American to hold a medical degree, fought against the false scientific claims of Black inferiority.

Black and white illustration of James McCune Smith

How We Know What We Know

Understand

Methods, tools, and sources used to study African American history and culture

Composite Image of items featured in How We Know What We Know

Visit the Museum

Photograph of museum exterior