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African American Women’s Activism in Historical Perspective
Join Smithsonian Affiliations for this program highlighting objects related to African American women’s history in the Smithsonian collections. This event focuses on African American women’s activism and contributions in historical perspective. Each speaker will explore an interesting aspect of African American women’s activism through an extended discussion of one or two objects.

Dr. Aleia Brown, Assistant Director of the African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHum) Initiative at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, will participate in the discussion, along with the speakers listed below. Dr. Brown co-directs the Restorative Justice Project and leads research, teaching, and programmatic initiatives. As Curator of African American History and Culture at the Michigan State University Museum she worked with the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, SA to co-curate the traveling exhibition Ubuntutu: Life Legacies of Love and Action. She has written and given talks on her two digital projects, #BlkTwitterstorians and #MuseumsRespondtoFerguson.

Mar 3, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Dr. Crystal Moten
Curator @National Museum of American History
Dr. Crystal M. Moten is curator of African American History in the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where she specializes in African American business and labor history. Previously, she has been an assistant professor of history in small liberal arts colleges on the east coast and in the upper Midwest. Her current research centers on the intersection of race, class, and gender and specifically black women’s economic activism in the civil rights era Urban Midwest. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Civil and Human Rights and a special issue of Souls, which focuses on the Black women’s work, culture, and politics. She has a chapter in The Strange Careers of Jim Crow North (NYU Press, 2019). Her forthcoming book is entitled Continually Working: Black Women’s  Economic Activism in Postwar Milwaukee.
Dr. Nancy Bercaw
Chair, Division of Political and Military History @National Museum of American History
Dr. Bercaw's research is centered on how Americans define freedom and how they put these beliefs into action. As a professor at the University of Mississippi, she taught about how Americans root their freedom close to home and in ways that grow out of their experiences as men, women, black, white, northern, or southern. In 2013 she joined the National Museum of American History to work on the exhibition, Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963. Through objects, first-person voices, and powerful images, the exhibition illustrated how Americans (who were either disenfranchised or enslaved) fundamentally changed our nation. In 2013, Bercaw joined the National Museum of African American History and Culture to serve as lead curator of the Slavery and Freedom exhibition. Her work illuminates our ideas about citizenship and the nature of belonging. In 2017, she returned to NMAH to chair the Division of Political History.
Dr. Madupe Labode
Curator @National Museum of American History
Modupe Labode is a public historian who has been a curator at the National Museum of American History since August 2019.  She works in two divisions—Political and Military History and Culture and Community Life—and her area of concentration is African American Social Justice History. From 2007-2019, she taught history and museum studies at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, and was a public scholar of African American History and Museums.