The evolving civil rights movement of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s revolutionized the consciousness of young people across the United States. As in African American communities, a new sense of mobilization spread among Mexican Americans. Many adopted a more political identity—chicano an
Following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the annexation of Texas, the land claims of many Mexican families were not respected, either by the new English-speaking settlers or by the U.S. government. Dispossession from family- and community-owned lands dealt a severe economic blow to the livel
Although introduced by Spanish settlers, the island's carnival celebrations, like mask making, music, and public performance, have developed into uniquely Puerto Rican traditions that also reflect the customs and sensibilities of Puerto Ricans' African ancestors. This carnival mask pictured here
This custom-made "Silver Flair" trumpet belonged to renowned trumpeter, bandleader, and composer John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, a founder of the modern jazz style known as bebop. Renowned for his musical virtuosity and for his impish good humor and wit, Gillespie played this trumpet in the early 1
For most of the twentieth century, two generations of Scurlocks documented Washington, D.C.'s African American community and city life. Portraits of a City is a web resource from the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, that preserves and provides access to the pho
Family photograph albums hold the history of generations, preserving the memories of birthdays, holidays, travels, and all general aspects of life. African American Mary Taylor used her 35mm Bell and Howell camera to document her family's life in the black community of Los Angeles, California, du
Although some know of the banjo's use by African Americans, the popular consciousness of the banjo has been dominated by images of white Southern musicians and urban folk singers. But the story is more complex. The banjo migrated from Africa to America in the hands and memories of slaves. Through
Part of a Pullman porter's job was to make up the sleeping berths in his assigned sleeping car, and to provide extra blankets to passengers requesting them. The standard Pullman blanket in the 20th century was dyed a salmon color, which became almost a trademark of the company. When a blanket bec
In the 15th century, decades before they sailed into the Caribbean, Spanish merchants, captains, and adventurers had already conquered and enslaved the people of the Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. On the western coast of continental Africa, the Portuguese had been cultivating a sla
This is a Bata Cubana, or Cuban Rumba dress, donated to the Smithsonian by Celia Cruz, the great Cuban salsa singer in 1997. An adaptation of the traditional Cuban rumba dress, it was made in the United States by Cuban-born designer José Arteaga. The Bata Cubana has its roots in the 19th century
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and power
How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories
The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every