In September, crowds from across the nation flocked to DC to see the latest addition to the Smithsonians: the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. The gallery proved so popular that visitors need to sign up for (free) timed-entry tickets online so that Smithsonian staff could keep up with the demand. Once you’ve got your tickets, keep reading for our guide on the museum’s top attractions.
Through the African American Lens Exhibit
Get your first look at the museum’s extensive permanent collection with this exhibit, which showcases photographs of important figures in African-American history. Portrayed figures include Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Dr. Martin Luther King.
South Carolina Slave Cabin
One of the museum’s top features is this historic slave cabin from late 1800’s South Carolina. The piece gives visitors a sobering look into the everyday reality of slavery and the conditions under which enslaved people lived in the United States.
Jim Crow Railroad Car
Museum visitors will get to see the historic progression of the African-American experience during their walk through the galleries. After seeing artifacts from the era of slavery, gallery-goers will see a railroad car from the period of segregation in the United States.
16th Street Baptist Church Shards
The KKK’s 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, which had a primarily African-American congregation, represented a significant moment in the Civil Rights movement. At the museum, visitors can see glass shards from the building and breakdowns violence and tragedy that the movement faced.
James Brown Cape
Musical visionary and legend James Brown was known for his electric live performances. Take in some of the soul pioneer’s spirit at the museum, which showcases his famous black cape, a well-known feature of his shows.