Black History Month Resources

More events, online exhibitions, and resources can be found on the Smithsonian’s Black History Month pages

Go back to the main Resource Library for conversations that matter here


A cartoon featuring an African American woman in a chef's coat and hat standing next to a tv with the words "Lena Richard's New Orleans Cook Book" on the screen.

Sidedoor Podcast, from the Smithsonian Institution

A Little Freedom is a Dangerous Thing, from A Very OK Podcast (Oklahoma Historical Society)

Collected, a project of the African American History Curatorial Collective at the National Museum of American History

Image: Artwork for the Sidedoor episode, Lena Richard: America’s Unknown Celebrity Chef. 

Online Exhibitions

A boombox with a light brown metal cover used by Public Enemy. The boombox has a handle at the top, collapsible antennae, six speakers, a radio, a double cassette player and a number of controls.

Hip-Hop Origins, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Hip-hop started with parties in the Bronx and has grown to a level of worldwide recognition and influence. Take a journey across the country as we explore hip-hop through its stories and objects.

Wilmington Massacre and Coup d’etat of 1898, from Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC). In 1898, North Carolina Democrats used threats and intimidation to stop African Americans from voting. Two days after the contested election, a mob of armed white men marched to the office of The Daily Record, the local African American newspaper, and set it on fire.

The Tulsa Race Massacre, from the Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, OK). The Tulsa Race Massacre challenges our understanding of early Oklahoma as a frontier offering freedom, opportunity, and progress to anyone. The events that transpired on the night of May 31, 1921, and the following day are difficult to comprehend, and the fact that it happened is frightening. We have a responsibility to face this chapter in order to know our history.

Race: Are We So Different?, the first in a 3- part series, created by the American Anthropological Association and extended into a Google Arts and Culture exhibit by the Museum of Us (San Diego, CA). View the other exhibits- Race and Education and Social Stratification.

Image: Boombox used by Public Enemy. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Public Enemy


Virtual Scholar Talks, from Smithsonian Affiliations

Dreaming of Colored People: Black Women and the St. Luke Finance Corporation in the 1920s, Museum of American Finance (New York, NY). African American women in 1920s-era Harlem participated in real estate and other investment schemes for complex reasons. The St. Luke Finance Corporation was one such scheme that showed great promise but struggled against structural and institutional inequities as well as criticism from some sectors of the Black community.

K-12 Resources

Talking about Race, National Museum of African American History & Culture. Resources for teachers, caregivers, and other audiences to make the world a more equitable and just place for all.

National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN) Learning Links for educators, lesson plans and activities that can be used by children, parents or families together.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL): Lesson Plans for K-12 students

Smithsonian Learning Lab Collections

Rainbow wig worn by George Clinton. A rainbow colored wig with strings of white plastic beads, various rainbow colored ribbons, purple tinsel and small plastic iridescent flowers and butterflies woven throughout.

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free, interactive platform for discovering digital resources.

Image: Rainbow wig worn by George Clinton. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Love to the planet

Resource Compilations

Black History is Oklahoma History, from Oklahoma History Center (Oklahoma City, OK). As new voices call for change, the OHS stands committed to its mission to collect, preserve, and share the history and culture of all Oklahomans. Browse free resources related to the Black experience in Oklahoma in these pages.

Articles from Financial History Magazine, a publication of the Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)

Publications, research, K-12 educator resources and more from the Kentucky Historical Society (Frankfort, KY), which is dedicated to providing historic perspective and context to current events, especially as we look to end racial injustice and systemic racism. The resources offered cover a wide range of topics and represent the work of programs across our agency.

Image: A gelatin silver print of male and female students standing and reading in a library at the Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth in Bordentown, New Jersey. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Howard and Ellen Greenberg