The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
**FILE** The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has announced online events, engagement opportunities and educational initiatives for the remainder of June, including “Curator Chats,” a new video series featuring commentary by museum curators on exhibits, initiatives and topics in African American history and culture and an at-home Juneteenth celebration.

New online offerings through June include:

NMAAHC Curator Chats Series: The New Negro Renaissance During World War I
During Memorial Day, the museum debuted a new online video series named Curator Chats.
In the first video of the series, museum specialist Tulani Salahu-Din discusses the emergence of the New Negro Renaissance during World War I.

NMAAHC Blog: Delaying Funerals Until It Is Safe to Gather Has Roots in African American “Secondary Burial” Traditions
The museum’s blog now features a new essay describing the traditions of African Americans in the Carolinas, who delayed funeral services and mourning practices until it was feasible to gather. In the blog “Delaying Funerals Until It Is Safe to Gather Has Roots in African American ‘Secondary Burial’ Traditions,” curator Elaine Nichols explores ways African American burial customs and traditions can offer some historical context for many those grieving the loss of loved ones and unable to conduct funerals. The museum’s blog is available at

NMAAHC Summer Reading Challenge 2020: “Reading Through the Galleries”
Offered through Aug. 31
The museum is presenting a new digital experience this summer, the “NMAAHC Summer Reading Challenge 2020: Reading Through the Galleries.” This is a self-guided virtual program for third through 12th-grade students and their educators/guardians to read books related to themes of African American history.

Meditation Mondays
12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. every Monday in June
In this virtual program, participants will contemplate the journey of black Americans toward liberation through meditation. During the 45-minute guided meditation session, attendees will have an opportunity to reflect on their liberation, closing with a brief discussion on the meaning of freedom. Meditator, yoga instructor and fundraising professional Ericka Phillips will lead the sessions. No experience, equipment or special clothing is necessary. Admission is free.

National History Day (NHD) at NMAAHC Student Documentary Showcase
Offered through June 24 (Smithsonian Learning Lab)
In collaboration with National History Day (NHD), the museum will showcase select short student documentaries created for the NHD competition that embody the mission and stories reflected in the museum. Student films were created based on this year’s theme narrative: Breaking Barriers in History. This program is supported by United Airlines. Admission is free.

Artists at Home
Wednesday, June 24
In this digital, interactive program, students will engage in hands-on art-making and conversations about African American artists and different genres of visual art.
Each session, led by an NMAAHC educator, will focus on a unique visual art piece and encourage discussion around a central question. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on art project using household materials. This program is for students from grades six–12. Admission is free; however, registration is required at

The Premiere of “John Lewis: Good Trouble”
7 p.m., Wednesday, June 27
Director Dawn Porter uses interviews and rare archival footage in her highly-anticipated documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble. A Magnolia Pictures and Participant release, the film chronicles the U.S. Congressman from Georgia John Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on issues ranging from voting rights to immigration. A post-screening discussion will include a conversation between Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch and Porter. The film will be released in theaters and on-demand July 3.

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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