Main Content


  • Article

    Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

    From the streets of Selma to the walls of the White House, Martin Luther King, Jr. worked tirelessly for the civil rights of African-Americans, and ultimately human rights for everyone. Enjoy a flickr slideshow of photographs that document his influence on four presidential administrations.

  • Scholarship

    How Early White House Conversations Influenced Civil Rights

    Shortly before 5 p.m. on April 11, 1968, several congressional and African-American leaders gathered in the East Room of the White House to witness the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (commonly known as the Fair Housing Act). Before signing the measure, President Lyndon B. Johnson took the stage and delivered brief remarks to commemorate the occasion. Among his comments, he

  • Scholarship

    Mr. President, Can You Hear Us?

    In the center of Washington, D.C, there is a seven-acre public park enclosed by H Street NW (north), Madison Place (east), Pennsylvania Avenue (south), and Jackson Place (west). Sometimes referred to as Lafayette Park or Lafayette Square (as a neighborhood), the area was named after the famous French hero, the Marquis de Lafayette. The park features a statue of

  • Scholarship

    Prominent African-American Women and the White House

    Although Michelle Obama was the first African-American first lady of the United States, African Americans have been integrally involved in the history of the White House from its initial construction in 1792.1 Mrs. Obama’s speech during the 2016 Democratic National Convention reminded the nation of a commonly unacknowledged aspect of our shared history, embedded within the structure of the White House it

  • Collection

    Protest at the People's House

    For more than a century, thousands of Americans have gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House to exercise their First Amendment rights and bring awareness to their respective causes. In this collection, explore how individuals, groups, and organizations historically used this space to advocate equality, protest policy, and demand action from the neighborhood's most powerful occupant.

  • Video

    Chocolate City - A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital

    Throughout four hundred years, Washington, D.C. has undergone massive transformations. Starting as a sparsely populated plantation society that grew to be a center of the slave trade, the nation’s seat of government developed into a diverse metropolis over time, eventually becoming the nation’s first majority Black city. Historians Derek Musgrove and Chris Myers Asch will discuss their book

  • Scholarship

    Ida B. Wells-Barnett: Anti-lynching and the White House

    Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an American investigative journalist, educator, and activist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.1 An African-American woman of “striking courage and conviction,” she received national recognition as the leader of the anti-lynching crusade.2 Wells-Barnett sought a federal anti-lynching law that would convict forms of “violence in which a mob, under the pretext of administering justice withou

Digital Library Collections