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Portrait of African American women

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Portrait of African American woman

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Portrait of African American woman

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Portrait of African American woman

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Portrait of African American woman

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Portrait of African American woman

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Portrait of African American woman

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

[African American woman] [cellulose acetate photonegative]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photograph by Robert Scurlock. African American woman sitting in a folding chair under a palm tree. No ink on negative, no Scurlock number, ink (text) on enclosure: "RSS [Robert Scurlock] WW II Army/War Scenes". No visble edge imprint.

Full-length portrait of seated African American woman

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

Portrait of African American woman holding a parasol

Anacostia Community Museum Archives

[African American women] [black-and-white cellulose acetate photonegative]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Group of African American women, formally dressed, presumably at a reception. "Misc. 1941" on original envelope. No ink on negative. Agfa Safety Film edge imprint.

[Three African American women wading in water] [black-and-white cellulose acetate photonegative]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Three women wading ankle-deep in river. Wooded hills are in the background. No ink on negative, no Scurlock number. No visible edge imprint.

[African American woman in military uniform] [cellulose acetate photonegative]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Photographed dramatically from a low angle. No ink on negative. Ink (text) on enclosure: "RSS WW II Army/War Scenes". No visible edge imprint, no Scurlock number.

African American History

National Museum of African American History and Culture
A black-and-white photograph of a man speaking from a podium during a dinner recognizing Hugh Mulzac for being named a naval captain after 22 years of naval service. Mulzac is seated next to the podium at bottom right.

[Portrait of a young African American woman in a white dress : Black-and-white photoprint.]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Woman is seated on a carved chair. Photograph by A.N. Scurlock. Sepia-toned print with a romantic, pictorialist effect. Thin paper mount with blind-stamp, lower right..

National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
NMAAHC is the nineteenth Smithsonian Museum

"A Century in the Making: The Journey to Build a National Museum," Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (blog), Tumblr. August 24th, 2016, http://nmaahc.tumblr.com/post/149430396115/a-century-in-the-making-the-journey-to-build-a.

"Culture Wars Won and Lost, Part II: The National African-American Museum Project," Radical History Review 70 (1998): 78-101.

The Time Has Come: Report to the President and to the Congress". National Museum of African American History and Culture Plan for Action Presidential Commission, last modified April 2, 2003, http://nmaahceis.si.edu/documents/The_Time_Has_Come.pdf.

Dodson, Howard. "A Place of our Own: The National Museum of African American History and Culture." Callaloo Vol. 38 No. 4. (2015): 729-741.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is opened on September 24, 2016 by President Barack Obama during a three day festival on the National Mall produced by Quincy Jones, a member of the museum's advisory board. The only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture, its goals are 1) to provide an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore this history through interactive exhibitions; 2) to help all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences; 3) to explore what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture; and 4) to serve as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington to engage new audiences and to collaborate with museums and educational institutions that preserved this important history well before this museum was created.

NMAAHC was established by law in 2003, the culmination of decades of efforts to commemorate African American history. African American civil war veterans began the push to commemorate the African American influence on America with a place on the National Mall in 1915. Veterans of the US Colored Troops were nearly excluded from a 50th anniversary Grand Review Parade celebrating the victorious Union Troops. USCT veterans formed a Committee of Colored Citizens of the Grand Army of the Republic to make sure their military service was remembered and provide help with housing, food, and logistical costs for African American veterans. After the parade, funds from this committee went to a National Memorial Association to create a more permanent memorial to African Americans' contributions to America. The association's aim was to build a building to depict African Americans' contributions in all walks of life, not just military. While no site was designated, the National Mall was the committee's goal.

Despite significant racially charged opposition, this Association worked long and hard to accomplish their goal, and with significant grass roots support that overcame congressional racism, a joint resolution creating a commission for the museum was signed into Law by President Coolidge on March 4, 1929. Unfortunately, due to the stock market crash later that year, the commission was unable to raise funds and the museum was never built. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 galvanized interest again. An initiative by Tom Mack, president of Tourmobile Sightseeing, a DC shuttle tour company, led to a 1986 Joint Resolution sponsored by Representatives Mickey Leland of Texas and John R. Lewis of Georgia and Senator Paul Simon of Illinois "to encourage and support" private efforts to build a memorial and a museum in Washington, DC.

Starting in 1988, new bills were introduced annually in the Congress by Rep. John Lewis to create a National African American Heritage Museum and Memorial within the Smithsonian Institution. In 1991, a Smithsonian blue-ribbon commission recommended the creation of a national museum devoted to African Americans to collect, analyze, research, and organize exhibitions on a scale and definition that matched the major museums devoted to other aspects of American life. The commission recommended that the museum be temporarily located in the Arts and Industries Building until a new, larger facility could be built, but the legislation stalled amid controversy about funding and the appropriateness of the site. In 2001, a new bipartisan coalition of Representatives John Lewis and J. C. Watts, Jr., and Senators Sam Brownback and Max Cleland renewed efforts to establish a National Museum of African American History and Culture within the Smithsonian Institution. Renewed questions about funding and feasibility of using the Arts and Industries Building resulted in the passage of P.L. 107-106 on December 28, 2001, which established the NMAAHC Plan for Action Presidential Commission to develop a feasible plan to move forward with the museum.

[Four young African American women standing beside a convertible automobile : black-and-white photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
In Box 13.

During the 50s and early 60s, Anne Arundel County was still segregated and the beaches for [African Americans] were Carr's Beach and Sparrow's Beach in Annapolis, and the beach communities of Highland Beach, Arundel-On-The-Bay, and Columbia Beach in the county. Carr's Beach was the most famous of the beaches and was affectionately called "The Beach". During the week "The Beach" was a place for day camp, church picnics, etc. But on the week-ends especially Sunday afternoons, Carr's Beach had the unique distinction of being a major stop on the "Chitlin Circuit". (Quoted from http://www.carrsbeach.com/.)

Advertising on convertible for Hoppy Adams of WANN radio station in Annapolis, Maryland; a Ferris wheel is seen in the background. Photographer unidentified.

African-American Banjo

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
This banjo was made by an unknown maker in the United States around 1835-1865. It has undergone considerable scrutiny and analysis at the Smithsonian because of its attribution to American slave origins. So far, studies have been inconclusive. While the sun design carved on the body may have African origins, the polygonal shape, wood top (instead of a skin), and carved head pegbox lie outside the traditions of banjos brought to America by Africans. Nevertheless, the instrument was likely made by someone familiar with Black culture.

"Save Our African American Treasures" in Charleston, S.C

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Participants in the "Save Our African American Treasures" program held in May 2009 in Charleston, South Carolina. "Treasures" is a national outreach program presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture to ensure the preservation of African American history. Looking on (center rear) are NMAAHC Director Lonnie Bunch and Congressman James Clyburn (DSC), and Deputy Director Kinshasha Holman Conwill stands at right. Visitors are learning how to preserve artifacts.

Design for National Museum of African American History and Culture

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Image Courtesy of the National Museum of African American History and Culture's Website.

An artist rendition of the design by architect David Adjaye of the Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smith Group for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. The design features a museum that has glass walls and features a crown motif from a Yoruban sculpture. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is a Smithsonian Institution museum established in 2003. It will be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and is set to open in 2015.

[African American female workers at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, with stacks of currency : paper photoprint]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
One of the two women in the foreground may be Margaret Barge, a Scurlock cousin (note from Sandi Brewster-walker, 9 June 2009).

Past/Present/Future Memory, Legislation, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
The author states that Congressman Dyer is African-America, however, we have found no evidence to support this claim.

In this article, LeRonn Brooks discusses the history of legislation behind the establishment of a museum of African American History. Beginning with the first House Resolution in 1916, Brooks outlines the many different ideas for a monument or museum over the years. The movement is re-energized in the 1960's after the Civil Rights movement, but suffers from disagreement among members of the African American community over who should have control of the museum, and whether or not a national museum would be detrimental to the efforts of other black museums and libraries already established in the United States. Finally, Brooks discussed Congressman John Lewis and his incredibly important contributions to the movement to get a museum established, and what the museum stands to represent in the future.
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