African American Culture

Experience a wealth of African American history, culture and entertainment in the nation's capital.

Guide to African American History & Culture in Washington, DC

With its Southern connections, Washington, DC has always had a significant African American population. Before the Civil War, the city was home to a growing number of free blacks who worked as skilled craftsmen, hack drivers, businessmen and laborers, and slave auctions were outlawed altogether in...

Jazz at The Hamilton Live - Music & Culture in Washington, DC
Visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW on the National Mall . The four-level museum opened on Sept. 24, 2016, becoming the only national museum solely dedicated to the documentation of African American life,...

@h.i.o - Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture - Washington, DC
Visiting the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

Shining a lens on urban life, the Anacostia Community Museum examines, documents and interprets the impact of historical and contemporary social issues on communities. However, the museum didn’t always focus on global communities, as the museum owes its roots to Anacostia’s local African American...

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum Washington DC
The Unique History of DC's U Street Neighborhood

The city is full of historic places, but U Street stands out for its unique position as a heart of DC culture, both past and present. The neighborhood began to build up toward the end of the 1800s, thanks to the construction of streetcars on its main thoroughfares. While it was primarily...

African American Civil War Memorial Statue
12 Things to See & Do in Anacostia

The historic riverside neighborhood of Anacostia is truly a gem. Some people think all Smithsonian Institution museums live on the National Mall , but Anacostia has its own completely dedicated to the concept of community. Perhaps the most famous member of the Anacostia community, Frederick...

Things to See & Do in Anacostia - Washington, DC
3 Days Exploring Civil War to Civil Rights in Washington, DC

Morning Begin your day with breakfast at the Willard InterContinental , where Abraham Lincoln stayed prior to his inauguration and where Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his “I Have a Dream” speech. Freedom Plaza, located opposite the hotel, honor’s King’s legacy. After breakfast, walk down....

Where Martin Luther King, Jr. Delivered His "I Have a Dream" Speech on the Lincoln Memorial Steps - National Mall - Washington, DC
100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: African American History & Culture

Washington, DC’s history is entwined with its large population of African American residents, as evidenced by the more than 200 sites on the African American Heritage Trail in the city. Here are important sites that celebrate the history and experience of African Americans in the nation’s capital.

Funk Parade on U Street - Events and Festivals in Washington, DC
9 Things You Need to Know About the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is a powerful, history-making addition to the National Mall . Admission to the museum is free, but has been in extremely high demand since the facility opened its doors. Timed passes are required to enter. Same-day passes (up...

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture - Washington, DC
3 Days of African American History & Heritage in Washington, DC

Morning Start your day at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial . Opened in summer 2011, the memorial was designed as a lasting tribute to Dr. King's legacy and will forever serve as a monument to the freedom, opportunity and justice for which he stood. It is the first federal memorial to honor a....

MLK Memorial at Night - National Mall - Washington, DC
12 Ways to Engage with African American History & Culture in Washington, DC

From the city's roots as a vibrant community for African Americans to the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in September 2016, Washington, DC is rich with African American history. Check out the numerous ways to engage with the vast and complicated...

Mountain of Despair Entrance to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial - National Mall in Washington, DC