Museum releases book on Black music and its global impact

This book released by the National Museum of African American History and Culture explores 400 years of musical culture.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has released a new book spotlighting objects in its music collection to show the compelling ways Black music has shaped American identity from the 19th century to the present.

Rigorously researched by a team of NMAAHC scholars, “Musical Crossroads: Stories Behind the Objects of African American Music” is richly illustrated with more than 200 images of objects in the museum’s music and performing arts collection. These include the obvious — Thelonious Monk’s piano, Whitney Houston’s Soul Train Award and Marian Anderson’s outfit from her 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert — and the less obvious, like Little Richard’s Bible, a poem by James Baldwin, the clock worn by Flavor Flav and Hall Johnson’s camera.