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What You Never Knew About Harriet Tubman
One of our nation’s greatest heroes, Harriet Tubman led slaves north to freedom via secret paths and waterways. But her skills also made her a valuable military asset to the Union Army. Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to learn more.
Collection Stories
Invite students to explore this site, in which National Museum of African American History & Culture staff share their interpretation of the museum’s collections they find most powerful from a variety of perspectives.
Math Quilts
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, elementary students will examine geometric quilt patterns to learn how math may have been used to help slaves escape to freedom. They will slide, flip and turn geometric shapes to create a map quilt.
Picturing the Civil Rights Movement: Photographs by Charles Moore
This Smithsonian History Explorer learner resource includes a 26-minute documentary where Charles Moore explains the context of many of his famous civil rights images. As students examine the images, they think about the importance of photojournalism to the civil rights movement.
Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators
The invention of the airplane sparked a revolution in modern technology. Beginning in the 1920s, a small number of determined black air enthusiasts challenged racial discrimination. Explore the resources on this National Air and Space Museum site to learn how with great effort—and against formidable odds—they realized their dream to fly.
History Explorer Podcast: Harlem Globetrotters and Early Professional Basketball
In this episode of the History Explorer podcast series, curator Eric Jentsch discusses the history of the Harlem Globetrotters, an all-African American basketball team that barnstormed through segregated America to become the world’s most recognizable sports team.
Separate Is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education
Explore the exhibition and teaching resources on this National Museum of American History site to learn about a landmark case that proved to be a turning point in American history.
The Art and Life of William H. Johnson
In these Smithsonian Education lessons, students examine works by African American painter William H. Johnson to learn about his milieu as well as his style.
Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch Weighs in on Legendary Photo Archive of African-American Life
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn how, in a historic moment, foundations and museums came together to rescue black history.
Here Are 12 Things You Might Miss in the Smithsonian’s New Fossil Hall
Hidden among the dinosaurs and megafauna, are these small details that make “Deep Time” all the more impressive. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn more about the new Fossil Hall.