Statement on Efforts To Collect Objects at Lafayette Square

June 12, 2020
News Release

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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of American History and the Anacostia Community Museum has released the following statement on their efforts to collect objects at Lafayette Square, one of several sites in Washington, D.C., where thousands gathered to protest police brutality and the killing of George Floyd.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of American History and the Anacostia Community Museum have formed a coalition to document, collect and preserve the expressions of protest and hope from Lafayette Square.

It is a complex effort to collect and accession artifacts into the Smithsonian’s national collection and involves many levels of work. At this stage, the Smithsonian cannot confirm which objects will become a part of its official collection. 

Recognizing that the tragic killing of George Floyd has spurred a transformative time in U.S. history, the Smithsonian is collecting at this time so that the world, in the present and future, can understand the role that race has played in a complicated and fraught 400-year history. This coalition of museums will enable Smithsonian curators to work together with activists and groups on the ground to ensure that this grassroots-led community movement and pivotal moment are accurately documented.

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SI-173-20

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Melinda Machado

(202) 633-3129

machadom@si.edu

Jermaine House

(202) 633-9495

housej@si.edu

Marcia Baird Burris

(202) 633-4876

bairdburrism@si.edu