The Anacostia Community Museum is a museum of African American History sponsored by the Smithsonian. It was founded in 1967 as the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was the mastermind behind this museum. The appointed founding director of the museum was activist John Kinard. The Anacostia Community Museum serves as a rich resource of knowledge of African American history (Anacostia Community Museum).


  • The Anacostia Community Museum building.
    The Anacostia Community Museum building.
  • An early photo of the museum, then named the Anacostia Neighborhood museum, with patrons standing outside it.
    An early photo of the museum, then named the Anacostia Neighborhood museum, with patrons standing outside it.

The Anacostia Community Museum was originally a gesture from the Smithsonian toward DC's African American community. John Kinard, the appointed director, was a dedicated activist within his community. Kinard was a minister, and had a great passion for leadership and organization. Although he was not the original mastermind behind the museum, he was appointed as the best candidate for making the Anacostia Community Museum rich and fulfilling. His efforts have done much to shape the museum into what it is today (Anacostia Community Museum).

At the museum's opening, however, it was not much of an African American history museum. The museum's first exhibition was simply a mix of work and artifacts from other museums by Smithsonian. The African American community, as well as board members of the museum, gave feedback. They wanted the museum to reflect their own culture and experiences. Thus, the museum began to focus almost solely on African American history (Anacostia Community Museum).

The Anacostia Community Museum boasts a large focus on education. The museum reaches out to schools and churches alike in order to promote education of African American history. The museum also has a children's room for the learning and betterment of the children who visit. It also sports many educational programs. The Anacostia Community Museum is likely one of the best places in DC to learn about African American history and culture (Anacostia Community Museum).

Anacostia Community Museum. Web. 1 Dec. 2014. http://anacostia.si.edu/