Many African American families share their own variations of the same dishes throughout the holiday season; whether a family adds a regional twist, includes a special sauce, plans for picky eaters, or accommodates a special diet. What are your favorite holiday food traditions? Let us know in the comments, and join us this Saturday, December 14th at 12PM in the Oprah Winfrey Theater for a discussion with culinary historian Michael Twitty about the culinary history of the south. #APeoplesJourney ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Princetta R. Newman
#OnThisDay in 1940, six-time Grammy Award-winning singer Dionne Warwick was born in Orange, New Jersey. Warwick is one of the most-charted female vocalists of all time and ranks among the 40 biggest hit-makers of the entire rock era (1955 – 1999 ) according to Billboard. Warwick’s father was a Pullman porter, and her mother was the manager of the Drinkard Singers. Some of Warwick’s most successful hits were “Walk On By”, “I Say A Little Prayer”, and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” In October 2002, Warwick was appointed to be United States’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Upon accepting her nomination, she indicated a desire to “make a statement about what needs to be done in the world to combat hunger and poverty.” #APeoplesStory #ANationsJourney ⠀ ⠀ 📸 1. Courtesy Public Domain 2. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Dwandalyn R. Reece in memory of Pauline Watkins Reece⠀ ⠀
World War I significantly transformed the global. From 17 to 21 million soldiers and civilians died in what was the worst war in modern history. Empires fell, maps were redrawn, and lives of countless people throughout the world would never be the same. Our latest special exhibition specifically focuses on African Americans and how the war fundamentally transformed black life in the 20th century. The war tested the meanings of citizenship, patriotism, and loyalty. On and off the battlefield, during and after the war, African Americans fought for their rights and to make democracy a reality We Return Fighting | On View December 13, 2019 - June 14, 2020 Learn more: nmaahc.si.edu/WeReturnFighting #ANationsStory
#OnThisDay in 1917, 13 black soldiers were hanged for their part in the Houston Race Riot of 1917. The riot came in response to specific actions taken by members of the Houston Police Department. The Third Battalion of the all-black 24th United States Infantry Regiment was stationed at Camp Logan, a military construction site in Houston. On August 23rd, 1917, two members of the Houston Police Department arrested a black soldier, Private Alonzo Edwards, for allegedly interfering in the arrest of a black woman. Later that afternoon, the two police officers arrested Corporal Charles Baltimore, who approached them to inquire about the status of Edwards.⠀ ⠀ By that evening, The Third Battalion heard rumors that a soldier had been killed and that a white mob was approaching Camp Logan. Soldiers ignored orders of their superior officers, grabbed their rifles, and headed into downtown Houston. A two-hour firefight between the soldiers and police and residents left 11 civilians, five policemen, and four soldiers dead. Afterward, many of the black soldiers were court-martialed and convicted. Forty-one men received life sentences, and 19 were executed. Newspapers at the time reported that the soldiers had mutinied and attacked innocent white civilians, but an NAACP investigation concluded that the soldiers acted in response to ongoing police brutality. The Houston Mutiny foreshadowed the Red Summer of 1919. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory #RedSummer100 ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Courtesy National Archives
District Treasures offers registered guests the opportunity to attend a one-on-one session with preservation specialists and receive a professional review of family treasures and heirlooms. Attendees will gain insight on the historical significance of their items and learn best practices for preservation. The December 11th session at our museum will focus on photos, paper, books, objects, ephemera, and/or textiles. Bring your family treasures for review! Register online, as space is limited.
#OnThisDay in 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Oslo, Norway for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in America, making him the youngest person ever to receive the award. During the speech, King stated: "I accept the Nobel Prize for Peace at a moment when 22 million Negroes of the United States of America are engaged in a creative battle to end the long night of racial injustice. I accept this award on behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice." King donated the $54,123 in prize money to furthering the civil rights movement. He interpreted the award as a reminder to civil rights workers that “the tide of world opinion is in our favor,” and pledged to “work even harder to make peace and brotherhood a reality.”⠀ ⠀ 📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture © Robert Houston⠀ ⠀ ⠀
Film posters straddle an interesting role within the film industry; they serve as both art and advertising. Through design, movie posters can help frame ideas, create moods, and stoke interest in the film and its main characters. Our Now Showing exhibit recognizes the fine line of art and commerce; it celebrates the Museum’s sizable poster collection and offers an abbreviated visual history of African Americans in cinema. The exhibition objects are culled in large part from the Richards Collection, a poster collection acquired by the museum in 2014 that includes more than 700 film posters and lobby cards. Now Showing features original posters and lobby cards and select ephemera from the Museum’s permanent collection. It introduces audiences to some of the pioneers of black cinema, highlights the Museum’s poster collection and its continued dedication to visual culture, and it shows how films geared toward African American audiences have been presented over the years. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory #CAAAMALens ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Leith Adams⠀ ⠀
The cultural roots of the United States can be traced to enslaved African ancestors who came to America as a result of the Atlantic slave trade. Traditional West African societies, the sources of the majority of enslaved Africans in the Americas, had dynamic, vibrant, expressive cultures. Enslaved Africans were often forced to dance while on board slave ships during the Middle Passage. Dancing became a source of continuity for the African-based culture of expression in the New World. Africans from different ethnicities and nationalities created new rituals, festivals, and social gatherings as a means of coping with and expressing the reality of their collective experiences in the New World. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture⠀ ⠀
Bessie Coleman was the first woman of African American descent and the first of Native American descent to earn a pilot license. Inspired by soldiers who returned home from Europe after World War I with stories about women aviators, Coleman applied to aviation school. She was denied admission due to her race and gender. In 1919, Coleman enrolled at the Caudron Brothers’ School of Aviation in France, and after seven months, she learned how to fly. In 1921, she received her pilot’s license, making her the first licensed African American female civilian pilot. Coleman became a high profile pilot in early, dangerous air shows in the United States. Coleman hoped to start a school for African American fliers but died in a plane crash in 1926 while testing a new aircraft. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift from Dawn Simon Spears and Alvin Spears, Sr.
#OnThisDay in 1870, famous cowboy and rodeo performer William "Bill" Pickett was born. The Texas native left school in 5th grade to become a ranch hand — riding horses and watching the longhorn steers. Pickett eventually became known for his stunts at local county fairs. He invented the art of bulldogging, the skill of grabbing cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground. In 1989, Pickett was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Pickett starred in the 1922 Richard Norman film "The Bull-Dogger,” which was distinct from the majority of Hollywood Westerns that typically highlighted white cowboys. View the movie poster in our latest exhibition, Now Showing! #CAAMALens #APeoplesJourney
#DidYouKnow that you can visit our Museum on weekdays without a pass now through February? Bring a loved one or friend for a walk through history this holiday season. Entry without a pass is daily Monday - Friday, beginning at 10am. Plan your visit today! #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory ⠀ ⠀
#OnThisDay in 1932, Richard Wayne “Little Richard” Penniman was born. Penniman was steeped into the musical traditions of R&B, gospel, and boogie-Woogie piano. His father kicked him out of the house at the age of 15, after he started to wear his mother’s makeup and clothes. He began performing at different venues around Atlanta and began traveling the Chitlin’ Circuit — a number of venues in the South that were safe for black performers during the segregation era. He became one of rock and roll’s most prominent innovators by the sheer power and excitement of his unparalleled voice. Influencing generations of musicians, he helped define the genre’s sound with his singing, piano playing, and outlandish style and personality. Little Richard is one of rock and roll’s first true stars. He was one of the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
During World War I, southerners migrated north and west, bringing their musical traditions with them. By the 1920s, jazz, deeply rooted in southern spirituals and blues, gained popularity in cities like Harlem, Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis. Entertainment venues, like the Cotton Club in Harlem, catered to white audiences and showcased the talent of jazz innovators. The white-owned Savoy Ballroom became a sophisticated venue for both black and white dancers. Music and entertainment helped define how America and the world experienced African American culture. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Dr. Eugene Thamon Simpson, Representative, Hall Johnson Estate
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, large numbers of African Americans in southern states were sharecroppers. White Americans, particularly in the South, were reluctant to shift their views of black Americans and sought ways to continue exploiting the labor of African descended people while remaining privileged. From sunup to sundown, day in and day out, black Americans worked land that made landowners rich, while they went further into debt. As sharecroppers, they rented farming plots from landlords and bought supplies from merchants on credit. At the end of each season, they often found they owed landlords and merchants more than they had earned. Sharecropping functioned as a debt-bonded labor system that contributed to a deepening racial divide. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
#OnThisDay in 1962, Edith Sampson was sworn in as the first African American female judge in the state of Illinois in the United States. Sampson was one of eight children born to Louis Spurlock and Elizabeth A. McGruder in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1950, President Truman appointed Sampson as an alternate U.S. delegate to the United Nations, making her the first African American to officially represent the United States at the United Nations. Sampson easily won her bid for associate judge of the Municipal Court of Chicago in 1962 and went on to become an associate judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County in 1966. Sampson served the state of Illinois and the United States in several roles over five decades. While she conceded that black people did not have equal rights in America, Sampson said “I would rather be a Negro in America than a citizen in any other land.” ⠀ #APeoplesJourney ⠀ 📸 Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Your #GivingTuesday support enables our Museum to share the unvarnished African American experience at the center of American history. Our stories demonstrate American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality. Even before the building housing our museum was constructed, donations from thousands of supporters helped our Founding Director, Lonnie G. Bunch III, to support new ideas and fill budgetary voids. Every donation helps. Don’t miss this special opportunity to have your tax-deductible donation to our Museum TRIPLED today! #GiveNMAAHC ⠀ ⠀ Head to our website to donate today!
#OnThisDay in 1859, American abolitionist John Brown was executed for leading a raid at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia ). The raid was intended to start a slave liberation movement that would spread through mountainous regions of Virginia and North Carolina. Brown was born in Connecticut in 1800 and became militant beginning in the mid-1850's when he served as a leader of the Free State forces in Kansas and fought pro-slavery settlers. In 1859, Brown sought to follow up on the moderate success that he achieved in Kansas with a more ambitious plan. Brown and a group of followers raided the Federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry and brought 1,000 pike heads for enslaved African Americans to use for revolt. Brown was captured and executed, but his raid stoked the fears of white southerners. On the day of his execution, he wrote” “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done.” With one-third of the southern population held in bondage, whites lived in fear of another armed insurrection. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
#OTD in 1989, Alvin Ailey passed away. Ailey, one of the most influential African American choreographers of modern dance, dedicated himself and his dance company to creating ballets that not only accelerated the careers of young African American dancers, but also stole the attention of national and international audiences in displaying the racial perspective of dance in the African American experience. Photographer Jack Mitchell began chronicling the work of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1961. The Jack Mitchell Photography of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Collection includes 8,288 black-and-white negatives, 2,106 color slides and transparencies, and 339 black-and-white prints depicting private photo sessions, repertory by Alvin Ailey and a wide range of choreographers and iconic solo performers. Jack Mitchell’s collection documents the dance company’s evolution while capturing the true idiosyncrasies and physicality of movement through still images. The photography showcases the innovative performances and groundbreaking artistry of Ailey, who shined a spotlight on the contributions and experiences of the African American heritage that inspired the racially diverse performances he presented that forever changed American dance and culture. Swipe left to view some of Mitchell's images in our collection. Explore the full collection on our website: NMAAHC.si.edu #WorldAIDSDay #APeoplesGroove 📷:Photography by Jack Mitchell © Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. and Smithsonian Institution, All rights reserved.
In honor of Thanksgiving, those enslaved and working in the fields caught wild game often accompanied by a serving of cornmeal while those enslaved, and working in the house, dined on leftovers from the “big house” after the enslaving family finished their own feasts. Some of the foods eaten during the holiday were based on the culinary traditions established in antebellum times. Corn shucking and other harvest time celebrations — where turkey, hot wheat bread or rolls (rare during slavery ), cakes and ham might be enjoyed — were generally held between October and November, and this was typically followed by hog-killing time and its promises of fresh offal. Thanksgiving would later be embraced by some black families during Reconstruction—with many dishes linked to the food of slavery, and some representing the glory of freedom. African Americans who left the South during the Great Migration used food to recreate a sense of home, and as they prospered, special occasion food became everyday food. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory 📷: The Thanksgiving Turkey/ Alfcamp, Elizabeth, N.J., ca. 1900, Courtesy Library of Congress
African American filmmaking is essential to American culture, and movie posters play an important role as part art and visual design, part promotional tool. “Now Showing” celebrates the significance of posters and the museum’s sizable collection by offering a visual history of more than seven decades of African Americans in cinema. The exhibition showcases works by pioneering filmmakers, independent directors, and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars to examine the intersection of race, gender, and the role of film in society. “Now Showing” is the first exhibition in our Museum to feature augmented reality (AR ). Through AR, you will have the unique opportunity to have an interactive experience with objects inside the gallery by using your mobile devices. “Now Showing” is on view now through November 2020 in the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts gallery located on our 2nd floor. #CAAMALens #APeoplesJourney
#OnThisDay in 1939, Tina Turner was born in Nutbush, Tennessee. Turner, renowned for her charismatic stage presence and powerful vocals, is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. Turner rose to prominence with her then-husband, Ike Turner. After divorcing Ike Turner in her 40’s, she reinvented herself as a solo artist and actress, and went on to release her biggest and most commercially successful single, “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” In a 2013 interview with Oprah, Turner proclaimed, “my legacy is that I stayed the course...from the beginning to the end, because I believed in something inside of me.” #APeoplesJourney #HiddenHerstory 📸Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Pullman Porters made berths, kept cars in order and washrooms clean, and handled baggage. Perhaps their most significant contribution during the Great Migration was their practice of covertly distributing the Chicago Defender in southern cities, spreading news about northern opportunities and better treatment. White distributors in the South refused to carry the paper, so porters distributed the paper through an underground network. The newspapers were then circulated hand to hand or read in local restaurants and barbershops. Through this ad-hoc distribution, hundreds of thousands of black southerners had access to the newspaper, which many came to see as a trusted guide.⠀ ⠀ The Chicago Defender not only created a sense of place and an important lens into Chicago life, politics, and culture, but also served as an engine of ideas and opinions that galvanized black people nationwide. In the first half of the 20th Century, the Chicago Defender helped draw tens of thousands of African Americans to Chicago and make the city their home. Channeling the energy of “The Black Metropolis,” the Defender helped publicize the careers of influential Chicago residents, from a range of professions. The Chicago Defender gave a voice to the voiceless. It left an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten.⠀ #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory ⠀ 📸 1. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture 2. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture 3. Courtesy Getty Images, contributor Scott Olson⠀ ⠀
#OnThisDay in 1955, the Interstate Commerce Commission banned racial segregation on train lines, interstate buses, and in waiting rooms. The ICC ruled that “the disadvantages to a traveler who is assigned accommodations or facilities so designated as to imply his inferiority solely because of his race must be regarded under present conditions as unreasonable.” ⠀ ⠀ The ICC ban did not account for intrastate travel, and thirteen states kept segregationist policies on buses and railways operating exclusively within state borders. The ICC ban was not given force until November 1961, due to an order by the ICC and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, in the wake of the Freedom Rides movement launched by activists throughout the Deep South earlier that year. #APeoplesJourney #ANationsStory ⠀ ⠀ 📸 Courtesy Library of Congress
The Gullah are African Americans who live in the Lowcounty region of the United States of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. They developed their own language, and a culture rich in African influences. The Gullah people and their language are also called Geechee. Enslaved Africans from the “Rice Coasts" of Sierra Leone and Liberia learned that the sea island regions of South Carolina and Georgia were the best environments for rice growing and cultivated rice into a profitable cash crop. Although rice was a staple in their diets, the Gullah also incorporated other foods that could be found in the Sea Island region. They also used variety of seasonings including; sesame seeds, nutmeg, basil, savory, thyme, parsley, cayenne, garlic, and black pepper. They also used file powder, a practice they learned from Native Americans. Common menu items include dishes like Frogmore stew and Fufu. Frogmore stew consists of shrimp, sausage, corn-on-the-cob, spices, and potatoes, all boiled together. Sometimes crabs and clams were included. Fufu is pounded yams mixed with egg and onions, often served with stews or roasted meat. #APeoplesStory ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 📸 1. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons 2. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Deborah L. Mack⠀⠀