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Slavery & Freedom: Featured Resources

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NMAAHC Educator Programs

Learn more about our Teaching and Learning Unit and Early Childhood Education Initiative

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NMAAHC Kids

Understanding and Celebrating Juneteenth

Use this guide to discuss the important concept of freedom, the history of slavery and Juneteenth with young children

Life in Freedom and Slavery

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the daily lives of enslaved African Americans?

Slavery & Freedom: Guides

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NMAAHC Reading Resources

Slavery and Freedom

Book selections for 3rd–12th grade students and educators

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Fate in Her Hands

Educator’s Guide

Use this guide to open conversation about the economic and emotional toll of the U.S. Slave Trade

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NMAAHC Educator Programs

Learn more about our Teaching and Learning Unit and Early Childhood Education Initiative

Photograph of protest

NMAAHC Kids

Understanding and Celebrating Juneteenth

Use this guide to discuss the important concept of freedom, the history of slavery and Juneteenth with young children

Slavery & Freedom: Smithsonian Learning Lab

Medieval West Africa

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the history and culture of medieval West Africa (600 to 1400 AD)?

Transatlantic Slave Trade

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the experiences of those involved in creating and profiting from the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and those who were kidnapped and sold?

Slavery in Colonial America

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the creation, development, and characteristics of slavery in Colonial America?

Atlantic Revolutions

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the cultural understanding, use, and destruction of slavery throughout the Atlantic World by revolution?

The Paradox of Liberty

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the paradox of liberty in the new United States?

The Founding Documents

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and their relationships to the paradox of slavery and freedom in the new United States?

Free African Americans and Their Communities

What can objects tell us about the experiences of free African Americans and their communities throughout the United States?

The War of 1812

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the experiences of enslaved and free African Americans and their communities during the War of 1812?

Colonization, Emigration, and Maroonage

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the experiences of African Americans in relation to the Colonization Movement, emigration, and maroonage?

The Documents of the Early Republic

What can objects tell us about the experiences of African Americans as understood through foundational documents that defined the political, economic, and social realms of the Early Republic?

Westward Expansion and the Domestic Slave Trade

What can objects tell us about the experiences of African Americans in relation to Westward Expansion and the Domestic Slave Trade?

Daily Acts of Resistance

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the experiences of enslaved and free African Americans who engaged in daily acts of resistance?

Life in Freedom and Slavery

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the daily lives of enslaved African Americans?

Abolition and the Coming of War

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the abolitionists, the Abolitionist Movement, and the events highlighting the coming of the Civil War?

The Business of Slavery and the North

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the connections between the Northern states, industrialization, business, and the institution of slavery?

The American Civil War

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the experiences of enslaved and free African Americans and their experiences and participation in the American Civil War (1861–1865)?

Documents of the Antebellum Era

Learning History Through Objects

What can objects tell us about the experience of African Americans during the Antebellum Era (1815–1860)?

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Press Play on History

Juneteenth

Explore objects related to Juneteenth and create your own playlist to interpret the meaning of the holiday

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Thinking Through Complex Systems

Rice Cultivation

Explore this collection to learn about the role of rice cultivation during slavery and the transmission of African traditions and knowledge

Making a Way Out of No Way: Guides and Activities

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NMAAHC Reading Resources

Making a Way Out of No Way

Book selections for 3rd–12th grade students and educators

For Educators MW Guides Joyful ABC Image

Joyful ABC Activity Booklet Series

Early Childhood Education

These downloadable activity booklets invite caregivers and educators to support children’s positive identity development while also growing their language and literacy skills with activities, museum objects, and new words

Making a Way Out of No Way: Smithsonian Learning Lab

For Educators MW Learning Labs James Baldwin Image

James Baldwin: Transatlantic Commuter

Learning History Through Objects

This Learning Lab Collection asks students to analyze documents, images, and objects that give insight into James Baldwin’s life as a transatlantic commuter and use objects to understand how they impacted his work and writings

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Mae’s Hat Collection

Early Childhood Education

Explore a colorful collection of hats made by the amazing milliner Mae Reeve

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Nurses

Early Childhood Education

Learn more about nurses’ work as community helpers with this collection of objects and photographs from the NMAAHC collection

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Activism

Early Childhood Education

This collection is designed to spark conversations with children about activism and what children and adults can do to help make their communities, schools and the world better, more fair places for all people

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School Days

Early Childhood Education

What’s something you love learning about? Have you learned to do something new recently? How have you taught someone else? Use school-related objects from the National Museum of African American History and Culture to start a conversation!