America I AM: The African-American Imprint

DC Public Library partners with National Geographic Museum to present DC I AM: Growing up in the Shadow of the Capitol and America I AM: Reading Program created in support of the exhibition America I AM: The African American Imprint.



DC I AM: Growing up in the Shadow of the Capitol

On view at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, N.W.

The exhibit uses the rich archives of DC Public Library. Photographs and artifacts cover the 20th century and reflect on life in the nation’s capital through the eyes of children.

When most Americans think of Washington D.C., they recall school trips, visiting museums, national monuments and historic moments in U.S. history. For those who grow up here, the image of D.C. is something very different. For them, the National Mall serves as a playground, and the Smithsonian Institution is their classroom. Apart from serving as the nation’s capital, Washington is a city rich in history, close-knit communities, and stark contrasts. Despite the prevailing myth that “nobody is from D.C.,” its 601,723 residents understand that living here is unlike any other urban experience. Growing up in D.C. means national news can be local news, and daily life often intersects with events of national and international importance.

This exhibition examines the experience of different generations and what it means to grow up in the shadow of the Capitol.

America I AM: Reading Program

Postcards available at all DC Public Libraries

Read a book on African-American culture to earn a free ticket to the exhibition at the National Geographic Museum.  Choose a title from the America I AM: Booklist or ask a librarian for suggestions to investigate the many contributions of African-Americans to the development of the United States.  Redeem your America I AM Reading Program postcard at National Geographic Museum for your free ticket.

America I AM: The African American Imprint

On view at National Geographic Museum, 17th & M Streets, N.W.

Take a journey through trials and triumphs while exploring nearly 500 years of African-American contributions to the economic, political, cultural and spiritual development of the United States. Bear witness to more than 200 poignant artifacts from the dungeon doors of the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana to Prince’s guitar.

Created in collaboration with leading scholars such as Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West, the exhibition is presented by Tavis Smiley, and organized by Cincinnati Museum Center and Arts and Exhibitions International. Nationally, the exhibition is made possible by presenting sponsor, Walmart, Inc., with Northern Trust as the educational partner, and Microsoft as the technology partner.