Days After Reopening to the Public, National Museum of African American History and Culture Observes Juneteenth and Tulsa Massacre Centennial
June 2, 2021
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture kicks off the month of June by celebrating Juneteenth, the country’s second Independence Day, and remembering the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre with a robust month of virtual programming and educational resources.
Reopened since May 14, the museum is hosting a full day of Juneteenth virtual programming, including storytelling sessions, culinary arts, music and more. In commemoration of the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the museum is highlighting community resilience during discussions and a digital collection portal where people around the country can offer their stories.
The museum’s early education programming series for young children, Joyful Fridays, continues with virtual activities every Friday and additional resources for fun family engagement. In addition, the museum is offering digital gallery talks led by museum docents on various subject areas.
Visitors can celebrate Black Music Month by exploring the story of African American music from the arrival of the first Africans to the present day in the museum’s “Musical Crossroads” exhibition. They can view the exhibition highlights online and use #APeoplesGroove to join in the conversation by following @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Moment of Reflection: Digital Commemoration of the Centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre
Tuesday, June 1; noon ET
The public is invited to join NMAAHC and Smithsonian museums for a digital commemoration of the centennial of Tulsa Race Massacre, which took place May 31–June 1, 1921. The moment of reflection, taking place across the museum’s social media channels, is a time to honor the residents of the Greenwood community and share thoughts about the resonating blow the massacre had on the Black community. The public can participate using the hashtag #Tulsa100.
Joyful ABC NMAAHC Kids Activity Book Series—Sixth Release (S, T, U, V)
Tuesday, June 1
The Joyful Kids ABC Activity Book series invites caregivers and educators to support children’s positive identity development while also growing their language and literacy skills with activities, museum objects and new words. Each Joyful activity booklet provides early childhood caregivers and educators insight into children’s developmental stages, age-appropriate play and art activities, and opportunities to look closely at museum objects. More information is available on the museum’s website.
NMAAHC Kids: Joyful Fridays
Every Friday; 11 a.m.–11:45 a.m.
The Joyful Fridays series welcomes children every Friday in June to create art that celebrates Black joy, history and culture. This special program is inspired by the museum’s Joyful ABC Activity Book series, which features activities, museum objects and new words based on characteristics featured in the book, A is for All the Things You Are: A Joyful ABC Book. To prepare for the activity, registered participants will receive a list of supplies needed, recommended books and links to online resources in the museum’s early childhood Learning Lab collections the Monday before each program. Participants can prepare for this program series by building an at-home creativity kit. This program is for children ages 4 through 8. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
Historically Speaking: In Remembrance of Greenwood
Wednesday, June 2; 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
The museum and Smithsonian magazine join forces in a virtual program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Moderated by Michael Fletcher of ESPN’s Undefeated, this panel discussion explores the development of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, the events that led to its Black residents being the target of racially motivated violence and the community’s resilience and regrowth. Panelists include Lisa Cook of Michigan State University; Victor Luckerson, Tulsa resident and a contributor to Smithsonian magazine’s April 2021 cover package devoted to the massacre; and Paul Gardullo, historian and curator of the museum’s current exhibition on Tulsa. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
NMAAHC’s Tulsa Digital Education Tools
The museum’s digital collections portal tells the story of the massacre through objects in its Tulsa collection. The museum’s website will feature a series of blog posts written by a team headed by NMAAHC historian Paul Gardullo, curator of the museum’s current exhibition on Tulsa. The first three blog posts will document life in Tulsa before, during and after the massacre.
June 7 and June 21; 12:30 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
In this virtual program, participants will contemplate the journey of African Americans toward liberation through meditation. During the 40-minute guided sessions, attendees will have an opportunity to reflect on their liberation and discuss the meaning of freedom. No experience, equipment, or special clothing is necessary. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
NMAAHC Summer Reading Challenge
Begins June 15
Created for third–12th-grade students and educators, the book selections, composed of non-fiction and fiction, are curated to provide enrichment about African American history and culture based on the permanent and temporary exhibitions within the museum. Participants can view the NMAAHC Summer Reading Challenge at https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/students/reading-resources.
National History Day Student Documentary Showcase
Wednesday, June 16–Wednesday, June 23 (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: Communication in History: The Key to Understanding. This program is supported by United Airlines. Admission is free; the showcase will be available for viewing at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.
Juneteenth: A Community Celebration of Resilience
Saturday, June 19; all-day program begins at 10 a.m.
The Juneteenth holiday commemorates June 19, 1865. On that day, approximately two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved communities in Texas learned they were free. During NMAAHC’s online celebration of Juneteenth, participants can enjoy online activities, including themes of music, food and freedom. The program will be available for viewing at https://nmaahc.si.edu/celebratejuneteenth.
Smithsonian Summer Sessions for Teachers: Interrogating the Stories We Tell
Monday, June 28–Saturday, July 3
The museum welcomes teachers this summer for an exploration of identity through the lens of six Smithsonian collections. Participants can register for one of its free five-day Summer Sessions and join an online community of educators across the country. Participants will discover how museum objects and works of art can broaden their perspectives, reveal silenced stories and make relevant connections to our world today. Admission is free; however, registration is required.
Community + Conversations with a Docent
Virtual visitors can join a lively conversation with a museum docent. Geared toward adults, these Zoom discussions center on different themes from the museum, with fully trained docents leading participants through 90-minute conversations inspired by objects and stories from the museum. Admission is free; however, registration is required.
About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than seven million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.