One of the most fun of the museums at The Mall because it houses Dorothy's shoes! OH yeah, there are other things, too. The American Presidency exhibit was awesome. It was cool to see all of the First Lady inaugural gowns and the china they had picked out. They also have the video camera recorder that recorded planes hitting the towers on 9/11.
A beautifully laid out museum. Much thought went into every aspect of this place that pays tribute to African American History without leaving anything out. You will go through many emotions and you will learn many new things. This museum is for everyone! If you go...wear the the most comfortable shoes and clothes you have. Enjoy!
Amazing museum that takes a look at a topic long ignored by Smithsonian museums. It is a great place for anyone to learn more about African American culture, history and significant people. This museum will affect everyone differently. To those of African American history, it will be a telling of a story known deeply and will be familiar. To a white person, or of another culture - it will educate and allow African Americans' struggle, culture and the societal impacts on/by African Americans to be known. Be aware that this museum takes the majority of a day to go through. You will be directed downstairs, where you will go through three floors of history in the basement level. Then you can go up to the top floor and work your way down of the above ground structure. Lately, due to its young age the museum has been packed -- so get there early or try to reserve tickets ahead of time.
You'll need at least two trips to see everything. As with all the Smithsonian Museums, it was as enjoyable/engaging as it was informative. If you are worried about graphic content with younger children there are red flaps covering the things that would need parental approval before viewing. My favorite part was the neighborhood record store. It took me back to an era that I almost forgot I missed. Seriously, the upper levels bring so back many joyful, pride evoking memories it may be worth starting there. No detail was spared, even the elevator was an experience to be had. The security check is fast and thorough. Everyone is very helpful. Because of it's prime location, parking won't be easy to find but I always prefer to take the Metro.
As of this writing lots of exhibit space being prepared so expect more to see when the new exhibition opens. Worth stopping in if just to see Star Spangled Banner. The "Ruby Slippers" on display for a short while before being taken down for conservation. Check display/exhibition schedule before going.