Making a Way Out of No Way

September 24, 2016 – Permanent
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Banner with motto of Oklahoma Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, ca. 1924, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture
1400 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

3rd Floor, Community Galleries

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Learn about the ways in which African Americans created possibilities in a world that denied them opportunities. These stories reflect the perseverance, resourcefulness, and resilience required by African Americans to survive and thrive in America. Each story presents concrete actions people took and choices they made to contest the racial status quo in America. the stories challenge visitors to reconsider the notion of freedom as granted to African Americans and to see freedom, along with its privileges and responsibilities, as earned by African Americans.

The three main sections include introductory space with five iconic artifacts complimented by multimedia components; the institutional pillars of African American life—education, religion, business, organizations and the press; and a tradition of activism. The Rosenwald School in South Carolina; the First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles; and Mary McLeod Bethune and the National Council of Negro Women in Washington, D.C., are among the institutions featured.