Smithsonian Books Releases Three Books With the National Museum of African American History and Culture

August 30, 2016
News Release

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Cover of book Begin with the Past

Smithsonian Books is publishing three books with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to commemorate the opening of the museum. The books are Dream a World Anew: The African American Experience and the Shaping of America, Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture and National Museum of African American History and Culture: A Souvenir Book. All three books will be available at the museum store for the museum’s opening Sept. 24, and then available everywhere else books are sold Sept. 27.

Dream a World Anew: The African American Experience and the Shaping of America uses objects and stories from the museum to examine the African American experience. It presents a sweeping history that includes the path from slavery to freedom, the struggle during Reconstruction and the civil rights movement to define and realize that freedom, and the swell of major social, political and economic changes since 1968. The book also celebrates the achievements of the extraordinary black musicians, writers, performers, athletes and artists who influenced American cultural identity. Photographs, sidebars, quotations, poems and profiles of trailblazers and visionaries round out this rich narrative. Dream a World Anew shows how the African American story transcends a single community and shapes all those who call themselves Americans.

Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture presents the long history of efforts to build a permanent place to collect, study and present African American history and culture. It traces the appointment of the director, the selection of the site and the process of conceiving, designing and constructing a public monument to the achievements and contributions of African Americans.

National Museum of African American History and Culture: A Souvenir Book showcases the treasures of the museum’s collections. Highlights include a silk lace-and-linen shawl given to Harriet Tubman by Queen Victoria, Pullman Porter train cars and uniforms, the jacket and skirt worn by Marian Anderson for her 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert, Negro League baseball banners and jerseys, a Tuskegee Airman flight jacket and Chuck Berry’s Cadillac. All of these objects and many more are accompanied by captions explaining their significance and role in the nation’s history.

About the Museum

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will open Sept. 24 as the 19th museum of the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. The museum’s mission is to provide for the collection, study and establishment of programs and exhibitions relating to African American life, art, history and culture.

About the Books

Title: Dream a World Anew: The African American Experience and the Shaping of America
Editor: Kinshasha Holman Conwill
On-Sale Date: 9/27/2016
Price: $40.00 / Pages: 288
ISBN: 978-1-58834-568-4

Title: Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Author: Mabel O. Wilson
On-Sale Date: 9/27/2016
Price: $29.95 / Pages: 144
ISBN: 978-1-58834-569-1

Title: National Museum of African American History and Culture: A Souvenir Book
Author: National Museum of African American History and Culture
On-Sale Date: 9/27/2016
Price: $9.95 / Pages: 64
ISBN: 978-1-58834-570-7

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SI-430-2016