National Museum of African American History and Culture: The Lowdown

African American Museum

Did you know African-American women left jobs as maids to work in war-related industries that suffered from a male worker shortage during World War II ?

African American Rosie the Riveter

Did you know about 6 million African-Americans moved from the South to northern, mid-western and western states in the Great Migration between 1910 and 1970?

African American Elliott family

Did you know in the 1890s, several African-Americans, such as the Elliott family (pictured here) left the South to create several all-black towns in Oklahoma?

That is just some of what you will learn when you visit the 19th and newest addition to the Smithsonian Institute: The National Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

The museum opened September 24, 2016. It’s located at 1400 Constitution Avenue (between 14th and 15th Streets), NW. The Museum is open 7 days a week from 10AM-5:30pm for 364 days per year. (It is closed December 25th, Christmas Day.) Entrance to the Museum is free. While there are a few same-day tickets released, it is recommended that you go online to arrange tickets beforehand.

To help orient yourself to the 85,000 square feet of exhibition space, you should pick up a museum map from the Information Desk on the street level.  The museum has seven levels – including three Concourse level below street-level.

Concourse 3 (the lowest level) is dedicated to “Slavery and Freedom from 1400-1877”. On that level,  you will learn about what slaves endured picking cotton and sugar cane to make products that enriched their Masters.

Concourse 2 covers the period from 1876-1968 including the Segregation Era, the Great Migration and the Modern Civil Rights Movement.

On Concourse 1, you will learn about the years of 1968 and Beyond — including the formation of cities and suburbs and events of 1968. You can also grab a bite to eat at the Sweet Home Café or see films in the Oprah Winfrey Theater.

One the museum’s second floor you can explore your family history or check out the Center for African-American Media Arts. On the third, you can learn about the accomplishments of African-Americans in Sports and the Military. On the fourth, you can explore accomplishments of African-Americans in Visual and Performing Arts.

You could spend a whole day in the museum. Each floor could take approximately an hour to view. So, if you have a limited amount of time, pace yourself accordingly.

Check out for more information about the Museum.

That’s the Lowdown!



2 thoughts on “National Museum of African American History and Culture: The Lowdown

  1. Mikey B,

    This was really enlightening. I didn’t know any of this. This is on my “must visit” list. Is the interior of the museum poppin’?


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