News Releases

National Museum of African American History and Culture Celebrates Black Women During Women’s History Month

#HiddenHerstory Social Media Campaign Unearths Stories of Unsung Women in American History

March 7, 2017

March is Women’s History Month and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will celebrate with panel discussions, film screenings and a social-media campaign exploring the contributions of African American women in the arts, business, leadership and activism. Unless otherwise noted, all events will take place in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater. All events are free and open to the public; however, where noted, registration is required. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis. Below is a chronological listing:

#HiddenHerstory: Social Media Campaign on Unsung Women in American History

The museum has launched a monthlong social-media campaign to spotlight the work of 15 African American women who, though not widely known, made a significant impact on history. Among them are organizers Hallie Quinn Brown and Pauli Murray, artists Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller and Harriet Powers, entrepreneurs Ann Lowe and Annie Turnbo Malone and musicians Big Mama Thornton and Gladys Bentley. The public can participate by following  @NMAAHC, the hashtag #HiddenHerstory and downloading our social media toolkit.

Thursday, March 9; 7 p.m.
BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez: A Screening and Discussion

The critically acclaimed documentary, BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, explores the life and legacy of poet and activist Sonia Sanchez, whom the late Maya Angelou described as a “lion in literature’s forest.” Sanchez will participate in a post-screening discussion with filmmakers Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon. Registration is required at NMAAHC Cinematic Conversations-Sonia Sanchez.

Saturday, March 11; 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Community Day: The Tuskegee Experience

The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. They proved that African Americans could fly and maintain sophisticated combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen’s achievements, together with the men and women who supported them, paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Community Day participants are invited to meet a few of the Tuskegee Airmen and hear their stories, design a squadron badge, and take self-guided tours of the museum’s military exhibitions which feature a display of an open-cock pit plane used to train the Tuskegee Airmen for combat duty.

Wednesday, March 15; 7 p.m. (This event is sold out.)
Culinary Legacy: A Conversation Between Dr. Jessica Harris and Chef Leah Chase

Leah Chase, an esteemed New Orleans chef and community builder, will talk about her life, creativity and the entrepreneurial drive it took to create Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, a landmark eatery in New Orleans that began as a neighborhood sandwich shop and is now an elegant restaurant that has served everyone from members of the community to U.S. Presidents. Harris is the author of 12 critically acclaimed cookbooks documenting the foods and foodways of the African diaspora, including Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons: Africa’s Gifts to New World Cooking. Harris helped shape the concept of the museum’s highly popular cafeteria, Sweet Home Café, one of 20 semifinalists for the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards in the category of Best New Restaurant. A book signing follows the program. Registration is required at NMAAHC Culinary Legacy Leah Chase.

The museum’s Center for African American Media Arts and Center for the Study of African American Religious Life are collaborating with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital to present the following films: 

Wednesday, March 22; 3 p.m.
I, Destini (2016)

This animated documentary by directors Riley and Nicholas Pilarski explores the poignant and imaginative illustrations of a young woman grappling with the effects of her brother’s incarceration.

Friday, March 24; 7 p.m.
Reimagining African Spiritualties in Daughters of the Dust

A screening of the newly remastered version of Daughters of the Dust and a discussion that explores the film through the lens of African spirituality.

Sunday, March 26; noon
Cinema + Conversation: Women of the LA Rebellion

The museum will host a two-hour block of short films showcasing the contribution of women filmmakers to the UCLA filmmaking movement known as the “LA Rebellion.” This is followed by a discussion with filmmakers and a screening of the documentary Spirits of the Rebellion. Registration is required at

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened Sept. 24, 2016, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument, the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.

# # #


Media only  
Lindsey Koren   

Fleur Paysour   

Museum exterior