Upcoming Exhibits

Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963

June 26 – August 7, 2015

Emancipation Day, Richmond, Virginia, 1905 Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Emancipation Day, Richmond, Virginia, 1905
Image courtesy of Library of Congress

“Changing America” examines the events leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the March on Washington in 1963.  Both grew out of decades of bold actions, resistance, organization, and vision. One hundred years separate them, yet they are linked in the larger story of a struggle for liberty which brought together different races, classes and ideologies and had a profound impact on the generations that followed.

“Changing America” is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and is part of NEH’s Bridging Cultures initiative, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” which brings four outstanding films on the civil rights movement to communities across the United States (see http://createdequal.neh.gov). “Created Equal” encourages communities across the country to revisit and reflect on the long history of civil rights in America.

The AAMI is offering free programs and other public events in connection with the exhibition. Please call 319-862-2101 for details, or visit our calendar of events.

Participants at the March on Washington  Image courtesy of U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Participants at the March on Washington
Image courtesy of U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Products of a Creative Mind: African American Invention & Innovation

Opening August 29, 2015

Did you know that the son of two runaway slaves helped draft the patent for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone design and worked with Thomas Edison, improving his lightbulb with the addition of a carbon filament? Chances are, most people are familiar with the names Bell and Edison, but far fewer are familiar with Lewis Latimer. African American innovators and inventors have influenced and contributed to the development of fields as diverse as agriculture, medicine, hair care, engineering, home security, and domestic life. In August 2015, the museum will open an exhibit that will explore the history of African American invention and innovation by highlighting key individuals and their contributions to various disciplines. Objects and interactive elements will expand visitors’ knowledge of African Americans’ contributions to the development of American innovation.

“The color of the skin is in no way connected with the strength of the mind or intellectual powers.”

Benjamin Banneker

Iowa State University alumnus George Washington Carver is well-known for his work developing dozens of new peanut byproducts.

George Washington Carver – Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, LC-USW3- 000165-D