The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans.


To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.


In 2012, The Cab Calloway estate donated many artifacts, memorabilia, artwork, images, and clothing that belonged to Cab Calloway. The certainty was never in question that the Smithsonian was the best repository for these important relics.


“This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture. This is America’s story and this museum is for all Americans.”


LONNIE G. BUNCH, III  – Founding Director, NMAAHC


When the Museum opened in 2016, Cabella Calloway Langsam and Andy Langsam were at the event along with many other icons and descendants of important figures. Everyone was there to celebrate the genuine and enduring recognition of Black Americans as fundamental contributors, innovators, inventors, scientist, and cultural creators to American history and culture.