This souvenir book showcases some of the most influential and important treasures of the National Museum of African American History and Culture's collections. These include a hymn book owned by Harriet Tubman; ankle shackles used to restrain enslaved people on ships during the Middle Passage; a dress that Rosa Parks was making shortly before she was arrested; a vintage, open-cockpit Tuskegee Airmen trainer plane; Muhammad Ali's headgear; an 1835 Bill of Sale enslaving a young girl named Polly; and Chuck Berry's Cadillac. These objects tell us the full story of African American history, of triumphs and tragedies and highs and lows. This book, like the museum it represents, uses artifacts of African American history and culture as a lens into what it means to be an American.
National Museum of African American History
The National Museum of African American History and Culture was established in 2003 as the nineteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum complex and research organization in the world. Its mission is to provide for the collection, study, and establishment of programs and exhibitions relating to African American life, art, history, and culture.