Five years after enthralling visitors from near and far with its iconic displays of African American life, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is set this month to celebrate the milestone anniversary.
The northwest D.C. museum will honor its upcoming anniversary with the theme, “Living History,” that embraces a season of new offerings, including the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap CD and book and an art exhibition exploring the Black Lives Matter movement, violence against African Americans and how art depicts Black resilience, according to the museum.
Also, this fall, the museum will open an exhibition exploring the Reconstruction era and a virtual museum initiative called Searchable Museum. It will also offer online and in-person programming to engage people around the world in African American history and culture.
“I am honored and proud of the work the museum has accomplished over the past five years to share African American history and culture with the world,” said Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon director of the museum. “Our anniversary theme, ‘Living History,’ aptly captures the current moment and our mission — and inspires many of our efforts this year. Connecting the past to the present and the future is a hallmark of our work.”
The museum opened on the National Mall on Sept. 24, 2016, and has since welcomed more than 7.5 million visitors in person and more than 15.4 million visitors to its website. Its social channels have had more than 604 million impressions and gained more than 630,000 followers, according to the museum.
“This is a very good time to thank the thousands of people, from presidents and patrons to visitors and volunteers, who have made our museum strong,” Young added. “By passionately pursuing our mission, we honor the community whose strength and perseverance gave birth to the world’s largest institution dedicated to preserving and exploring African American history and culture.”