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National African American History Museum Activity

This activity is a nonthreatening way to get students to discuss diversity-related issues in a group setting. Participants see a video about the National African American History Museum, based on an interview with its founding director.


Participants discuss why we have museums that focus on the culture and history of racial and ethnic minorities.

Estimated Time

25-35 minutes

Group Size

This activity works best with a group size of 30 or fewer; if used with larger groups, limit the group size to between 7 and 10 and have more than one group consider each question.


Have the group watch the video on the National African American History Museum. Then, divide the participants into four groups by assigning each person a letter from A through D. Each group gets a different set of questions. Allow the group members to talk among themselves for 10-15 minutes. Each group should choose a reporter. Bring the groups back together and ask each reporter to read the group’s questions aloud (one at a time) and summarize the group’s discussion of that question. After each group explains its answers, open the floor for people from other groups to share their thoughts about the question.

Optional: Either after watching the video or while answering discussion questions, people can (individually or in groups) explore the collections on the Museum’s website. For example, as part of their discussion, participants could select one item in the collection that stood out most to them or that they would want to know more about. They might also read some of the “Collection Stories” on the website